Although Mercedes-Benz was the first car manufacturer to meet the requirements for level three autonomous driving, the Stuttgart company has lagged behind in this area in China. To address this issue, Mercedes reached a partnership agreement with Tencent on Monday.
The automaker’s Chinese subsidiary wants to work with the Chinese tech giant and use cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence to speed up the simulation, testing and deployment of Mercedes’ self-driving technology. The partners plan to establish a joint laboratory for that purpose.
The announcement comes at a good time, as China wants to provide more support for autonomous driving technology in the future. In Shenzhen, also the headquarters of Tencent, lawmakers passed new local regulations just last week. According to this, self-driving cars up to level three will be allowed to drive on the roads from August 1. At this level, vehicles can drive autonomously for a while under certain conditions and the driver can temporarily turn away from traffic.
In China, domestic electric start-ups such as the Nio or XPeng are seen as leaders in autonomous driving due to the difficult traffic conditions there. So Mercedes is working hard there on the development of autonomous driving systems.
Tencent is also making its expertise in connected car security available to the Stuttgart company. The two companies entered into their first partnership in 2015 and want to explore more possibilities for collaboration in the future.
Autonomous driving is one of the key business areas in the automotive industry, and China is Mercedes-Benz’s largest sales market. In the long term, DER AKTIONÄR remains optimistic about the car manufacturer.
Notice of conflicts of interest: The CEO and majority owner of the publisher Börsenmedien AG, Mr. Bernd Förtsch, has taken direct and indirect positions on the following financial instruments mentioned in the publication or related items that may benefit from the price promotion resulting from the publication: Mercedes-Benz.