Chinese e-commerce conglomerate, Alibaba, has signed a strategic alliance with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) to launch a car with an entire internet-connected mobile smart ecosystem. Together, they have agreed to develop internet-connected cars, aimed at linking in-built systems in SAIC cars to the internet giant’s self-developed mobile operating system.
The car will come integrated with Alibaba’s Aliyun operating system, big data technology, Ali Telecom MVNO brand, AutoNavi’s mapping technology, AliCloud computing systems, and online music website Xiami.
The products developed under the partnership will surpass existing offerings as they will connect in-built systems in the cars to the internet. There are safety concerns over hacking, however, representing a major challenge to the auto manufacturer according to a SAIC spokesperson. The executive added that SAIC and Alibaba will work to address the challenges using their own expertise, with SAIC developing hardware and Alibaba software to tackle the safety concerns.
The partnership is the latest in a series of collaborations between car companies and internet giants, such as Apple’s launch of the CarPlay and Google’s June launch of Android Auto, which allows mobile devices running on the Android operating system to be operated in automobiles through the dashboard’s head unit.
In China, internet company Baidu launched CarNet in April, which allows users to operate a smartphone on a car’s dashboard, while Tencent Holdings launched a device that provides data on oil consumption, mileage and diagnoses glitches.
Car companies and internet companies have conflicting goals in their partnerships, however, with car companies pursuing exclusive deals for technology and high-tech firms seeking to open up its technology to the greatest number of car manufacturers possible in order to boost profits.
It is reported that SAIC is tying up with Alibaba to secure exclusive technology after it found that previous supplier PATEO had been developing internet-connected car technologies for other car companies.