C hina is not only becoming the most important global sales market for established car manufacturers, companies from the Middle Kingdom are also increasingly the first choice for cooperation when it comes to new technologies. Baidu, operator of the largest local internet search engine and, so to speak, “the Google of China”, is a cooperation partner of Daimler.
Smartphone integration Baidu CarLife
A cooperation with one of Baidu initiated the open software platform for autonomous driving, called Apollo. Mercedes-Benz has been equipping cars in China with the Baidu CarLife smartphone interface - comparable to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - since 2016. Now Daimler and Baidu have agreed on a deeper strategic cooperation in automated driving and vehicle connectivity.
Baidu boss Robin Li explains: “In the age of artificial intelligence and big data, the automotive industry will follow a completely different logic develop - from vertical integration to a platform-based ecosystem. Therefore, now is the best time for global automakers and tech companies to work together and deepen collaboration in building a smart ecosystem. I hope that this partnership between Baidu and Daimler will lead to increased cross-sector cooperation and drive the automated driving business forward. ”
Software solutions from Baidu will probably be integrated into the new MBUX multimedia system for the Chinese market for the time being (Mercedes-Benz User Experience).
Daimler conducts global and local research
Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler and Head of the Mercedes-Benz brand: “In view of the changes that our Industry today, we work continuously around the world as well as locally in China to implement our CASE innovation strategy The areas of automated driving and connectivity in particular are developing at an unprecedented rate in China, and for our continued success it is not enough to just stay one step ahead of these trends; we must lead. Daimler and Baidu already have a strong partnership in these two areas, and the signing of this letter of intent is another milestone in the cooperation between our two companies. ”
Mercedes-Benz is testing converted vans in the Chinese capital Beijing V-Class fully automated driving on public roads. In theseThe software modules of Baidu's Apollo platform are already integrated into test vehicles. In addition to the cars used in normal traffic, Daimler and Baidu will also undertake further tests on closed test tracks in China.