SAIC and Alibaba initiate $161m fund for ‘Internet cars’
The announcement was jointly made by the two companies on March 12 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and marks a substantial step forward after the two companies signed a cooperation agreement on developing Internet cars last year.
SAIC and Alibaba depict a promising brand-new car lifestyle with the ability to be connected to the Internet. They said that the newly-established fund will fuel a joint-venture company and the construction of a R&D and operation platform for Internet cars.
Jing Lei, chief engineer of SAIC, said the Internet will become a must-have feature of future cars and will help the user struggle through the “painful moments” of owning a car as well as create “sweet moments” in travel.
Wang Jian, Alibaba’s chief technology officer, said Internet cars will improve people-to-car communication and gradually expand their functions to the areas of car-to-car, car-to-road, and car-to-infrastructure communication. Four-dimensional interaction among people, cars, roads and infrastructure is a big trend which will lay a foundation for improving self-driving car technologies, he said.
SAIC has China’s largest auto-user base and is powerful and innovative in the fields of car assembling, powertrain, new energy technology, automotive electronics and automotive architecture. The firm also has extensive experience in R&D and operation, telematics service and Internet of vehicles application, and owns a complete production chain for car sales, services, logistics and finance.
Alibaba is known for its independently-developed Yun OS and owns China’s largest cloud computing platform. It has developed a vast Internet content and services ecosystem and has mastered core technologies and service skills in fields like e-commerce, finance, map navigation and communications.