If you’re into being able to use your favorite messaging apps just about anywhere, including while driving, you’ll be interested to know that Ford reportedly has held discussions with China’s Tencent to integrate the company’s popular WeChat application, China’s most popular messaging app that is known as Weixin in the country, into Ford vehicles.
According to Reuters, David Huang, Ford’s head of Asia Pacific, said the goal is for drivers to be able to sync their phones, using mostly voice commands, to a vehicle’s software system and control specific WeChat functions, selected by Tencent and then certified by Ford as safe.
Nissan wants [WeChat] in its cars at some point
Ford isn’t alone. Nissan wants the app in its cars at some point according to a spokeswoman, while Daimler, owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand, is also researching how to include apps and services from Tencent and rivals Baidu Inc and Alibaba Group Holding in its cars, the company’s China head Hubertus Troska said.
General Motors and Tencent introduced a feature in August that allows drivers to use WeChat to find a dealership and send the location of their car to friends. Having connected cars on the road is key to gaining market share in the country, especially in a slowing economy. Such cars have proven popular in the country.
This is in addition to the WeChat-controlled room and other interesting potential uses we’ve seen in the past. Messaging apps are continually integrating themselves in different aspects of our lives, and having them built into our vehicles is another step in this direction.
WeChat is available for most major mobile operating systems and can be downloaded here.