Alibaba Partners with Daimler, Audi and Volvo to Connect Cars to Homes

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China’s Alibaba Group is set to partner a trio of global automakers to supply artificial intelligence (AI) technology for home-to-vehicle connectivity, Automotive News reports. The company said that its AI division, Alibaba A.I. Labs will supply its AI + Car system to Daimler, Audi, and Volvo for deployment in China.

Drivers will be able to communicate with their cars with the help of the brand’s Tmall Genie smart speaker. AliGenie, a voice assistance service, will allow a number of voice-controlled operations to be performed remotely, including the locking/unlocking of car doors, switching on the air-conditioning, locating the vehicle as well as the planning of a drive route.

The company added that the system will also allow users to monitor aspects such as fuel and battery levels in a vehicle. To ensure security, the system will use voice recognition technology to identify an authorized car user before any voice command can be executed.

In the future, Alibaba A.I. Labs said it plans to integrate more speech interaction and natural language processing features into its vehicle operating systems, with voice command support for tasks such as activating car navigation and infotainment systems.

The Chinese internet conglomerate’s involvement in the automotive scene has been growing steadily. It runs unmanned auto vending machines that dispense Ford vehicles to prospective buyers for test drives or to purchase outright and is also working with Honda on developing connected car services via its subsidiary AutoNavi. Alibaba also owns a stake in electric vehicle startup Xiaopeng Motors.

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