Soon, Mercedes-Benz cars that will be available in China will use software from Chinese tech giant Baidu. An announcement was made at the consumer electronics show CES in Shanghai last Monday that Daimler and Baidu have entered a deal. Baidu’s software will enable users on board Mercedes-Benz cars to access content such as music from their smartphones via their dashboards.
No details were released on when the Baidu application will be first seen in the cars. Automakers are hoping to expand the internet services available in the vehicles. They are also aiming to improve smartphone compatibility.
Meanwhile, the heat is on among automakers that are competing to acquire Nokia's maps business, which is considered a valuable asset in the development of self-driving cars.
Sources also said that Mercedes, Audi and BMW have partnered with private equity firm General Atlantic to improve their chances of buying Nokia's unit. Their rivals include a consortium that consists of Uber and Baidu.
There’s also a third group that includes China's Tencent and Navinfo. In a separate matter, Daimler said that it will look into the potential of wireless recharging of mobile phones in cars as well as into electric car recharging sans cables, as it teams up with chipmaker Qualcomm.
"It's important that we remain on the cutting edge of technology and continue to deliver unparalleled experiences to our customers," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "With this in mind, we are eager to jointly explore possible fields of future cooperation with an internationally leading tech firm like Qualcomm."