In yet another sign that this week’s annual CES tech expo in Las Vegas will focus heavily on the changing world of autos, Ford said today that it was striking deals with Amazon and DJI to further digitize its vehicles. Soon, you may see Ford cars that drive themselves, talk to your home and even talk to your drone.
To begin, the automaker will announce that it is tripling its fleet of autonomous vehicles in 2016, upping its total to 30 test vehicles on the road. It’s also announcing a novel integration with Amazon: Ford’s in-car software will soon connect with connected-home devices, especially its Amazon Echo.
“We want to put an exclamation point that we are moving from an auto company to an auto and mobility company,” Ford CEO Mark Fields told Re/code in an interview tonight. “We’ve been at this a long time, but we will be accelerating going forward.”
Despite reports of a deal with Google to be announced during CES, Fields said that Ford will not be using the Internet giant’s autonomous vehicle software. “We talk with everyone, and those conversations are private,” Fields said.