Audi deepening partnerships with Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent on connected cars in China
11 September 2016
In China, Audi has signed tripartite memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent respectively. The partners will deepen their cooperation in the areas of data analysis, internet-vehicle platform building and urban intelligent transport.
The partnerships will be supported through the brand’s strong development capabilities in China. In Beijing, Audi operates its largest research and development facility outside of Germany. The R&D center is part of Audi China, a 100% Audi AG daughter-company, and puts a strong focus on key future technologies such as connected car, piloted driving, new energy vehicles and digital services.
|MMI Screen of the Audi A4 L in China. Click to enlarge.|
China has become an important lead market for digital technologies. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are strong innovators. We are determined to work with them on features for the connected car of the future.—Joachim Wedler, President of Audi China
Audi China and the brand’s China joint venture FAW-VW Automotive Co. Ltd. are closely cooperating in their digitalization activities.
Audi can build on existing cooperations with China’s leading internet firms. In cooperation with Alibaba, the German company has integrated real time traffic data into Audi MMI and has become the first premium manufacturer in China to offer high-resolution 3D maps.
Starting from 2017, Audi will launch Baidu CarLife in its local model line-up, for seamless transfer of Baidu’s popular app services between the customers’ digital devices and their cars.
With Tencent, Audi is currently developing the integration of WeChat MyCar services into Audi models. The first features to be implemented will be location sharing and music sharing. WeChat is Asia’s leading communication services app with over 700 million active users.
The signing of the MOUs took place on September 11 during the Audi Brand Summit. At this event, Audi showcase, among other technologies and vehicles, the Audi A6 L e-tron, its first locally produced plug-in hybrid model. (Earlier post.)