Ford teams with Pivotal, bets on Cloud Foundry

Ford is looking to speed up its software development with the Cloud Foundry platform and help from Pivotal.

Ford on Tuesday said it has forged a three-year partnership with Pivotal Software to develop applications on Cloud Foundry and connect its various mobile and auto experiences.

The news comes as Ford is increasingly delving into software. Ford separately said that it has officially enrolled in the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program to test a self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid. The testing builds on Ford's existing research and testing in its labs.

As for the Pivotal partnership, Ford will use Pivotal's Cloud Foundry and big data suit e to build its connected vehicle program. So far, Ford said it has sped up software development times from months to weeks using agile techniques.

With Pivotal tools, Ford is aiming to simplify the customer experience and connect its various services and mobile apps. The best known Ford software is its SYNC platform. The automaker recently launched SYNC Connect, which allows remote access to a vehicle via a smartphone app. SYNC Connect will debut with the launch of the new Ford Escape in the Spring.

Ford CIO Marcy Klevorn said the company is looking to provide more frequent software updates and new features. Pivotal and Ford engineers have been paired up to develop applications.

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