Geely Teams Up with Tencent to Develop Self-Driving, Smart Car Technologies

Carmaker Geely will be teaming up with tech giant Tencent to develop next-generation intelligent vehicle cockpits and autonomous driving systems. (Source: Geely)

China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group said it has teamed up with Tencent to develop smart vehicle technologies, the newest cross-industry partnership between traditional automakers and tech giants.

Areas of strategic cooperation between the two companies include developing next-generation intelligent vehicle cockpits, new mobile and mobility service applications and exploring autonomous driving systems.

“Through this partnership, Geely and Tencent will also promote low carbon development of the automotive industry and carbon neutrality as an industry goal,” Geely said in a press release on Tuesday.

Geely, which owns Volvo and a 9.7% stake in Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, is China’s largest private automaker by sales. The Hangzhou-based firm sold more than 1.32 million vehicles in 2020 and celebrated the milestone of selling 10 million vehicles globally last year.

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In 2018, Geely and Tencent cooperated for the first time to form a joint venture with China Railways developing high-speed Wi-Fi and other mobility service applications.

A year later, the Chinese tech giant’s automobile AI arm Tencent Auto Intelligence signed a deal with ECARX, an intelligent software provider backed by Geely, to develop intelligent-connected technologies, joint user operations, AI and cloud services.

Currently, Tencent automotive applications have been integrated into several Geely Auto and Lynk & Co models.

Introducing intelligent vehicle solutions could be beneficial to Geely, which is attempting to undergo a transformation from being a traditional manufacturer to a leader in the auto-tech industry focusing on electrified mobility.

Last week, Baidu announced a strategic partnership with Geely aimed at manufacturing electric vehicles (EV). As part of a deal to set up an intelligent EV company, Baidu will provide in-vehicle software, while Geely will put its engineering capabilities on the table, with the new passenger vehicle to be produced at Geely’s factories.

Geely also announced it would form a separate venture with Apple iPhone supplier Foxconn to provide car production, consulting, intelligent driving systems and other services to global automakers.