Company launches the first "mass-produced smart vehicle."
Alibaba, the e-commerce company that provides different kinds of sales services through web portals, is taking the next step in its “Internet-of-things” (IoT) project, expanding the idea into the automotive sector with the introduction of the RX5 sport utility vehicle. The car has been designed in cooperation with SAIC, China’s largest automaker.
The creators of the SUV explain it is part of a push “to change cars from mere methods of transport to connected devices in their own right” and, as a part of this idea, the RX5 will be using an operating system built especially for the automotive industry by Alibaba’s YunOS division.
The so-called “Internet car” differs from standard vehicles in its “connected smart operating systems” that will “improve the consumer experience beyond just driving.” The company explains it wants to integrate all vehicles into a large IoT ecosystem, where “smart devices collect and exchange data in order to improve efficiencies for their users.”
In other words, in the RX5, driver and passengers will be able to book and pay for parking spaces, gas stations, and coffee shops through Alipay, an online payment platform from Alibaba. Also, each driver will have a unique “Internet ID” that allows the operating system to “not only recognize different users but also to make recommendations for music, air temperature, or nearby restaurants based on past trips.”
Dubbed as the “first mass-produced smart vehicle,” the RX5 will be priced from $22,300 (approx. $29,000 CAD) and is already available to pre-order. Deliveries start in August.
Source: Alibaba via Alizila