Alan MulallyFormer Ford chief Alan Mulally has joined the Google Board of Directors in a move analysts are tipping as a drive to establish its Android in-car software within the automotive industry.

Mulally’s appointment could also help drive the Google self-driving car project, which the firm has to date developed on its own, without any collaboration with the existing automotive industry.

Speaking of Mulally’s appointment, Google CEO Larry Page said: “Alan brings a wealth of proven business and technology leadership experience. I am so pleased that Alan is now joining Google’s board!”

Mulally said he was “honoured to serve on the board of a global iconic company that is dedicated to enhancing our lives. I look forward to working together with the Google board and management teal to continue to deliver their compelling vision.”

The veteran corporate executive of the automotive and aviation industries (he was formerly president and CEO of Boeing), Mulally’s appointment was effective on July 9th and he will serve on Google’s Audit Committee.

Mulally famously turned Ford around from a loss-making car company into one now making billions of dollars a year – without, unlike US rivals GM and Chevrolet – requiring bailout assistance from the US government.

Ford has been thriving ever since this Mulally ace… but will he now become the man that also helps make self-driving cars a commercial reality and bring the Google Car to the road? With his track record, contacts, experience and ability, it’s certainly one to watch.