By Supantha Mukherjee
BARCELONA (Reuters) – Cisco is working with Mercedes Benz to add its Webex conferencing tools to the dashboard of vehicles arriving in dealerships in the coming weeks, the company said on Monday, as it seeks to turn the car into a mobile office.
The 2024 Mercedes-Benz E Class will be equipped with Wi-Fi and a cellular data connection, meaning drivers can download the Webex application to appear directly on the touchscreen of the vehicle’s infotainment system without needing a mobile phone.
As a safety precaution, the users can only use audio when the vehicle is moving, but can use all features when it is parked, including video meetings, automatic transcription, content-sharing, and reactions.
Working from home as a result of the pandemic provided a boost to video-conferencing platforms, such as Webex, Zoom and Microsoft’s Teams, but the growth has slowed since the lifting of lockdowns and the companies are seeking opportunities to expand.
Zoom has tied up with Tesla to equip its vehicles with conferencing tools and Cisco plans to announce other partnerships at the MWC telecoms conference in Barcelona this week.
They include one with Samsung for Webex integration in its flagship phones and another with Intel for private 5G.
(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Barcelona; editing by Barbara Lewis)