Audi will improve Chinese connected car services with Baidu. Baidu is an internet search and maps provider company. Audi plans this partnership in order to meet the growing demand of driver-assistance systems and driver less technologies in vehicles in the world’s largest automobile market.
Audi’s strategy is to install and integrate BAIDU Car Life platform into its cars. This platform is specially designed for smartphones integration in cars and is mostly similar to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This feature will allow drivers to access the Audi smartphone interface in their vehicles as they connect their smartphones (iOS/Android) to their vehicles. This will also enable them to use a number of different tailored apps by Baidu that are popular in China.
At the car maker’s annual shareholder meeting in Neckarsulm, Germany, Audi’s, Chief Executive, Rupert Stadler, said:
“We are now taking our next big step in China, the virtual and real worlds are merging.”
The greater use of softwares, technology, electronics and the ability to connect vehicles to different devices is a growing market and gives competitive edge and business opportunities to the automobile makers and other software and technology firms.
Both the companies have signed a memorandum of understanding in January this year to develop data related to navigation and maps, positioning algorithms and point of interest functions. This MOU is expected to be revealed at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Shanghai on May 25-27.
Besides this contract with Baidu, Audi is also planning to tie up with Huawei to develop a China-specific LTE module to deliver fast-data transmission for use in China, Japan and Korea.
Audi together with other German popular and premium automobile manufacturers Mercedes and BMW have also partnered with private equity group General Atlantic to give a boost to its attempts to acquire Nokia’s mapping business.