January 6, 2017 / 2:05 PM / 7 months ago

Jaguar Land Rover buys stake in car technology firm CloudCar

2 Min Read

Signs are seen outside the Jaguar Land Rover plant at Halewood in Liverpool, northern England, September 12 , 2016.Phil Noble/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover said on Friday it was buying a minority stake in connected car technology firm CloudCar, as automakers seek out new partnerships and investments to build high-tech models.

Car manufacturers are developing connected cars, which use the internet to improve customers' driving experiences and allow vehicles to communicate with each other, in a race with tech giants such as Google.

In October, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), parent company Tata Motors and U.S. carmaker Ford tested connected cars using technology designed to speed up journeys and cut accidents, the first such trials in Britain.

CloudCar, which has developed technology including to improve voice activation, has been a supplier to JLR for several years, with plans to use the next generation of its technology in Jaguar's first fully electric model.

On Friday, the carmaker said it would invest $15 million (12 million pounds) and acquire an unspecified stake in the firm.

"This investment is integral to Jaguar Land Rover's vehicle technology programme," said Executive Director of Corporate Strategy Hanno Kirner, adding he wanted to work with other carmakers.

"The eventual need to integrate into the car hundreds of driver-focused global cloud services and content means this platform is an excellent example where cooperation ... can improve outcomes for customers, as well as reducing costs."

(1 British pound = $1.2378)

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Mark Potter

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