audi-baidu-carlife

Audi will offer fast LTE connectivity with Baidu CarLife in China (Photo: Audi)

Audi will adopt a smartphone connectivity system from Baidu in China to capitalize on the popularity of the country's biggest internet search engine.

The German premium car maker said Baidu CarLife, as the system is called, will be available in Audi vehicles in combination with a China-specific LTE module that Audi is developing with network provider Huawei.

“The aim of our partnership with Baidu is to drive advances in the online networking of our cars in China,” said Ricky Hudi, head of development for Electrics/Electronics at Audi.

The cooperation with Baidu, which was agreed in January, also calls for the joint development of map data, positioning algorithms and point-of-interest functions.

Because many Google functions, including Google Maps, are severely restricted or unavailable in China, carmakers working with Google elsewhere in the world have to find other solutions for the world's largest car market.

Audi said the LTE module it is developing with Huawei will be available in China, Japan and Korea. The carmaker said it will be the first premium brand to offer fully integrated LTE connectivity in China.