International Business Machines Corp. is working with Beijing TransWiseway Information Technology Co. to offer drivers in China more connectivity in their vehicles.
IBM’s cloud-based technology will connect vehicles to the Internet and each other to deliver information such as traffic alerts, weather advisories and suggestions for alternate routes to a driver’s mobile phone, the companies said today in a statement. The new platform may connect with 1.5 million trucks next year and 10 million in two to three years, the companies estimates.
Drivers are increasingly looking to be connected while in their vehicles. Technology to do that is the top selling point for 39 percent of auto buyers, more than twice the 14 percent who say their first consideration is traditional performance measures such as power and speed, according to a study consulting firm Accenture released in December.
“This effort targeted for improving in-vehicle services will make an important impact on the whole driving ecosystem in China and combining mobile and cloud technologies will drive innovation across the automotive industry,” said Ernie Hu, vice president of software for the IBM Greater China Group. IBM is based in Armonk, New York.
IBM’s collaboration for the connected car in China is being announced as tensions between the world’s two largest economies have escalated after U.S. prosecutors accused the Chinese military of stealing corporate secrets. China’s government is studying whether domestic banks’ reliance on IBM’s high-end servers threatens national security and is expanding a trial program to replace them with local brands, people familiar with the matter said this week.