Mercedes links up with high-tech Chinese web company

German car manufacturer Daimler is to utilise high-tech software from Chinese web service firm Baidu in Mercedes cars in China. This announcement comes at a time when many luxury car makers are looking to deepen ties between themselves and technology companies; with everybody looking to the future of motoring, it is clear that entertainment in cars will become increasingly important as the result of traffic congestion and the onset of semi-autonomous vehicles.

The partnership between Baidu and Daimler was announced in Shanghai at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) recently. Baidu's software enables digital devices such as smartphones to be accessed using the car's dashboard, which means that everyone can use their smartphones to access the full range of internet services. This is an exciting new development and is probably the first of many that Mercedes will unleash onto the market. The company has not yet given any indication about when the Baidu software will be first be used.

The deal signed between the two giants comes as the battle heats up over Nokia maps, which are universally regarded as crucial to the development of the driverless car. Daimler is involved in the fight for ownership, which has become a three-way race.

Another development that will be welcomed by electric car owners is the partnership between Daimler and Qualcomm, which will look into recharging mobiles while on the move and recharging electric vehicles without the need for cables.