Volkswagen’s luxury car unit Audi signed agreements with Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu at its annual summit in Shanghai on Sunday, saying it will work closely with each in data analysis, internet-vehicle platform building and urban intelligent transport.
Its areas of collaboration with social network and online gaming group Tencent include helping drivers to make better use of the WeChat communication app. Under the agreement with online search company Baidu, Audi aims to improve the use of smartphone apps in its cars, while it aims to develop more real-time traffic news services and 3D maps with Alibaba.
This move is just the latest in the growing frenzy by traditional car makers to get in on the autonomous car race. China is the world’s largest car market for new cars, and has been China’s number one luxury car brand by sales since 1988.