Mercedes-Benz is unveiling exciting ideas for the future of mobility and announcing a closer partnership with Baidu.
China asks Baidu rather than googling. The Chinese search engine is now one of the world’s five most visited websites and offers a whole host of web-based services. Mercedes-Benz and Baidu announced to deepen their strategic partnership. The aim of the partnership is to offer Chinese Mercedes-Benz customers even more individual services for their connected vehicles, taking account of the specifics of the Chinese market. For example in 2013, Mercedes-Benz integrated Baidu’s Street View into its vehicles as the first automaker in China. The Mercedes-Benz research and development centre opened in Beijing in 2014 will contribute to pick up such trends even faster and transfer them into custom-tailored product solutions in the future. By the end of this year, there will work more than 500 highly qualified engineers and designer – many deal with the topics HMI and telematics.
”The fact that the CES takes place in China for the first time, the world’s biggest automotive market, shows once more the merging of both, the automotive and IT industry”, says Hubertus Troska, member of the board of management of Daimler AG responsible for Greater China. “To be successful in China on the long term, we have to focus especially on the digital lifestyle and the trends of our youngest customer group worldwide. At this point, our continuously growing activities in the field of research and development come into play as well as our strong Chinese partner. Together, we consequently pursue the goal of offering our Chinese customers innovative products that enable us to tap on our full potential here.”
Smartphone integration in Chinese: Baidu CarLife in a Mercedes-Benz
As a first visible example of the cooperation, Mercedes-Benz is looking ahead to the integration of Baidu’s CarLife. CarLife is a smartphone-based in-car infotainment system developed specifically for the Chinese market by Baidu: the contents of the phone display are transferred – via WIFI or USB – to the car’s screen, with the functions being controlled reliably and conveniently by the vehicle HMI, in other words the Controller or the touchpad. Mercedes was showing what the system could look like in a Mercedes-Benz E-Class.