STAMFORD, CT -- HARMAN, the premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation group (NYSE:HAR), announced today that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Baidu, the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. Under the agreement, HARMAN will work with Baidu to launch vehicle networking solutions. Called CarLife, the collaboration will offer advanced Internet capabilities, entertainment features and location-based services on HARMAN’s in-vehicle infotainment head units designed for the Chinese market, resulting in a richer and more immersive connected car experience.
“We are very excited to combine Baidu’s powerful Internet search capabilities and user experience with HARMAN’s embedded connectivity expertise to present drivers in China with safe, easy and intuitive access to the content they want,” said Sachin Lawande, President, HARMAN Infotainment.
“Succeeding in the quickly evolving segment of in-car technology requires a platform that can be easily updated and adapted, and this partnership with Baidu will allow HARMAN to provide flexible, innovative solutions and content to OEMs that have been tailored to fit the Chinese auto market. “ remarked by David Jin, Chairman and President, Northeast Asia and Greater China, HARMAN.
“CarLife is the first cross-platform solutions with best efficiency for the Internet of Vehicles in China , and follows the most compatible global standard of vehicle networking, providing in-vehicle interface and services with rich applications and data. The natural synergies of this collaboration with Harman will allow us to leverage internet resources and rapidly develop innovations that provide the OEMs with the flexibility, customization and security they demand, resulting in the best connected car experiences for their drivers,” said Liu Jun, vice president of Baidu.
CarLife, jointly launched by Harman and Baidu, provides smartphone compatibility with user smartphones, such as Android and iOS, covering over 95% of smartphone users. Using Baidu Maps and Harman’s technologies in navigation infotainment system, CarLife offers the best online navigation experience, assisting drivers with the most accurate route planning, location search, and distance estimation. The solution can also help drivers avoid traffic congestion with real-time updates. In addition, it also provides advanced functionality, such as real-time parking location information, speed alerts, seamless navigation, and a hands-free voice activated control system.
CarLife will work with in-vehicle networks to offer users a fully integrated user experience as well as connected services with rich applications and high speed data flow. HARMAN’s automotive customers can leverage CarLife to quickly and affordably introduce connected car solutions to drivers in China. Together, HARMAN and Baidu’s CarLife solutions will provide millions of drivers a more open and intelligent vehicle networking experience.
HARMAN currently employs nearly 3,000 people in China, and maintains R&D and manufacturing facilities in Shanghai, Chengdu, Suzhou, Shenzhen and Dandong. The Company supports a number of global automotive partners from its facility in Suzhou, as well as a growing number of domestic Chinese automakers.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® , Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 17,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.9 billion during the last 12 months ended December 31, 2014.