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February 17, 2015updated 19 Aug 2016 3:58pm

Ford to install WeChat in cars with Tencent help

Ford and Tencent are in talks to bring the service to Chinese drivers.

By CBR Staff Writer

US carmaker Ford is reportedly in talks with Chinese firm Tencent to customise and integrate its messaging app WeChat in its cars in China.

Along with Ford, other car making firms including Daimler and Nissan Motor are also seeking to offer drivers safe, hands-free access to mobile apps in China, which has highest smartphone users in the world.

Ford Asia Pacific connected services unit senior engineer David Huang told Reuters: "There’s a demand from our customers."

"People want to stay connected, stay informed and stay entertained all the time, even when they’re driving."

Ford envisions drivers will sync their devices to the vehicle’s software system and control specific WeChat functions via voice commands or limited button usage.

The app functionalities will be selected by Tencent and then certified by Ford as safe.

Other tech majors including Google and Apple are also planning to enable drivers to be online while on the road.

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In the midst rising reports of risk of using smartphones while driving, General Motors plans to launch first smart cars with eye and head-tracking technology that aims to alert driver whenever they get distracted while driving.

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