TikTok has made its way into the luxury car market as Mercedes-Benz announced that upcoming models will allow drivers to directly download third-party apps to the center display, and even film themselves and participate in video meetings, though only when the car is in park.
Passengers will also have a screen through which they can access mobile apps, even when the car is in motion, but the German car manufacturer says that screen will be shielded from the driver when the vehicle moves.
Some of the apps available include Angry Birds, Zoom and TikTok. Mercedes has said that it has sold nearly 330,000 vehicles in the U.S in 2021 and nearly 21,000 E-Class sedans.
“As we aim to expand that experience for our users, we’re excited to partner with Mercedes-Benz to introduce immersive in-car entertainment, which will give our community more opportunities to enjoy the content they love,” said David Saidden, director of distribution business development at TikTok.
State and federal lawmakers have been increasingly sheepish about cracking down on the app’s use as many have said that the Chinese-owned company poses a threat to national security.
James Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that the Mercedes deal represents a push to outlast lawmakers’ efforts to crack down on the app, especially as other countries have not expressed the same level of alarm.
“TikTok isn’t waiting with bated breath to see what the U.S. does,” he said, adding that the company is “gambling on being so successful that the U.S. isn’t going to be able to take action against them.”
It’s unclear if the deal will put more political pressure on Mercedes and other companies that cut deals with the video app company.
The app’s partnership with Mercedes highlights the desire to reach older audiences as its over-65 audience is expected to grow.
Source: The Washington Post