Rising popularity of smartphones has led to the auto sector introducing cars with internet access and infotainment services. These cars can be internet linked either via users’ smartphones or without them. “CarLife” is Baidu’s first software for in-car infotainment which was recently showcased in Beijing.
CarLife is the first platform in the connected car system in China that will offer information on weather, music, navigation and other functions such as voice calling, etc. With Baidu’s CarLife providing a variety of services that also include voice recognition, restaurant updates and parking retrieval, the infotainment platform will compete directly with CarPlay from Apple and Google’s Android Auto.
As per Baidu, their interface is compatible with 95% of the smartphones available currently in China. The system can be connected to smartphones via WiFi, Bluetooth or USB cable.
Of the three, Hyundai will be the first to reveal a car powered by Baidu CarLife. Engineers are currently working on this, and plan to unveil Sonata sedan equipped with Baidu CarLife by April 2015.
This is not the first time Baidu has announced a platform for in-car connectivity solutions. Back in April 2014, the Chinese company had announced CarNet. Based on WinCE, this system was developed in association with Tima Networks, a car service company in China. But, due to unknown circumstances, Baidu and Tima terminated their association. Earlier this month, Tima launched CarNet 1.0 as a solo venture.