German automaker Audi has teamed up with Chinese tech giant Tencent to work on an intelligent and interconnected digital ecosystem for future vehicles, including digital cockpits, digital marketing and other user operations.
Among other things, Audi vehicles in China are expected to feature in-car WeChat and some other digital services from Tencent, according to a memorandum of understanding the two signed on Monday.
“Deepening our strategic cooperation with Tencent further enables us to expand the Audi product eco-system for our Chinese customers in a way that is tailored to their unique needs,” said Werner Eichhorn, president of Audi China.
With in-vehicle Wechat, the social media app of Tencent, drivers can send and read or listen to messages via voice control when driving. It will be much safer and more conveniently. For various mobility scenarios, Tencent also creates an in-car Light APP ecosystem, which can offer such services as news, entertainment, travelling services. Like the in-car Wechat, the Light App ecosystem supports voice control. What’s more, the ecosystem eliminates the need of downloading applications, and support updating via the cloud.
Tencent has been developing integration in vehicles since 2018, working on internet in vehicles, access to cloud-based storage and autonomous driving. The tech giant has partnered with over 30 carmakers so far, with Tencent products used in over 120 models. The WeChat app, first revealed in 2019, lets drivers send messages, make calls and share their location, all hands-free.
Audi, which has grown a strong following in China since its entry in 1988, has been ramping up efforts to transform digitally, signing partnerships with various national tech companies such as Baidu, Alibaba and Huawei to collaborate on in-car digital services and other intelligent vehicle development projects.
Audi has built partnerships with leading Chinese companies, as part of the automaker’s efforts to transform itself into a provider of sustainable and networked premium mobility.
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