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Alibaba drives intelligent connected car plans forward via FAW Group deal

Alibaba makes further moves into auto

Alibaba has inked a deal with FAW Group to come together to create the next generation of Intelligent Connected Vehicles (ICV) in China.

FAW Group has joint-ventures with international brands including Volkswagen, Toyota and Mazda. Its partnership with Alibaba will see it using the company’s open mobility platform Banma Network Technology (‘Banma’).

In August 2019 Alibaba announced that it had opened up this operating system for use by all of its auto partners but the deal with FAW Group is the first to be formally announced. Alibaba has been pushing auto technology innovation for some time, notably in the autonomous car area, as well as in retail, where it’s developed an unmanned car vending machine for people to try cars out.

Alibaba said the deal with FAW, “is a testament to the tech company’s commitment to an open and collaborative approach to meeting the digital transformation needs of car-makers”.

As well as using Banma, the deal will see FAW use Alibaba’s Cloud infrastructure globally and boost R&D, marketing and customer service functions through its data intelligence products. Other technology that will be looked at as part of the deal includes, “edge computing, Internet of Things, and blockchain for various applications – such as smart logistics and high definition maps”.

According to Alibaba, since it first started working on an auto operating system in 2010, with the first internet-connected car being launched in 2016, one million cars are on the road in China equipped with Alibaba. The brands offering this are SAIC, Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Company, Changan Ford and Škoda Auto.

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