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Car industry puts cooperation on show in battle against Silicon Valley firms

PARIS/FRANKFURT, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Alarmed by the threat posed by Silicon Valley firms to their businesses in developing autonomous driving systems, it was evident at the Paris Motor Show this week that carmakers are seeking to fightin back by cooperating in areas of technology development where previously they might have tried to compete.

Three big carmakers - BMW, Daimler and VW's Audi - announced earlier this week they would launch new traffic monitoring services next year which give drivers a view of road conditions along their entire route, based on video data collected by their jointly-owned navigation mapping services firm, HERE from sensors incorporated in other cars (

Meanwhile HERE's Dutch rival TomTom NV, on Thursday announced traffic data deals for truckmaker Volvo and carmaker Skoda, a VW subsidiary.

Connecting cars on the move with the Internet also needs more reliable mobile telecoms networks and towards that end Germany's top automakers said this week they were teaming up with the telecoms network equipment makers Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Qualcomm and Intel to help with developing the next-generation 5G networks set to debut around 2020 (

It's unfamiliar territory for carmakers who are unaccustomed to cooperating as they battle for distinctive features that will help drive sales of their latest model vehicles.

"This is how the automotive industry may be able to fight off the threat that Apple and particularly Google represent...