Ford & Google are here to automate your vehicle

Just like the prevention of forest fires, improving your vehicle’s efficiency and fuel economy falls squarely upon the driver — the way you drive, when you drive, and where you drive all factor into how much fuel your vehicle drinks. Ford thinks a bit of technology could help, and as a result, the automaker has partnered with Google to use the search engine giant’s Prediction API to the vehicle adapt to your habits.

Although the idea is still in its infancy, the partnership theoretically allows Ford to collect data about your vehicular use, including when you drive, how far you drive, how long you drive, and where you drive. Over time, the cloud-based system can trace habitual patterns, and optimize various systems for the type of drive.

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Ford & Microsoft team up for electric cars

Ford Motor Company and Microsoft Corporation announced today that they will be teaming up again to make the widespread adoption of the electric car into a reality.

Ford said it plans to use Microsoft’s Hohm electric-car charging optimization service to help drivers determine the ideal time to charge their vehicles and how to best minimize impact on the grid.

Microsoft and Ford have already proven to be a successful partnership with the Sync system, a decade-long effort designed to improve drivers’ in-car experiences. Sync was launched in 2007 and has been installed on more than 2 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. The Internet-based service will be used for the Focus Electric plug-in hybrid in 2011, and in two next-generation hybrids in 2012.