Honda and Alibaba Develop Internet-Connected Car Services

Honda is working with Alibaba to develop services for Internet-connected cars. More and more carmakers are starting to work with Chinese Internet giants to further deepen China’s car market, which is the largest in the world.

Honda’s key partner is AutoNavi, a department within Alibaba. It will provide drivers with a service that enables them to make appointments in AutoNavi map and pay in Alipay. The two companies will soon decide on which car models will feature the service.

Since 2015, Honda and AutoNavi have been cooperating in how to use big data in vehicle navigation systems. They plan to expand cooperative relations to Internet-connected car services.

China is expected to become global leader in promoting electric cars, sharing cars and other next-generation automotive technology. Honda has reached multiple cooperation agreements with Chinese companies. For example, Honda has jointly developed a kind of electric car with the leading information technology company Newsoft Group. The electric car is expected to launch on the market in 2018.

With the development of automatic driving and other cutting-edge technologies, Internet companies are becoming more and more important in China’s automobile industry. Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) in July last year announced the launch of the Apollo open source unmanned driving platform. The platform uses AI technology developed by Baidu and the Chinese government. It has attracted more than 1,700 domestic and international partners, including Daimler, Ford and Intel.

Another Internet giant Tencent, whose market value reached HK $3.97 trillion ($508 billion) as of Tuesday, has invested $1.77 billion in Tesla, and also has invested in several Chinese electric car startups. Pony Ma, Tencent chairman and CEO, said the future of the car industry is Internet-connected cars. He also said Tencent plans to integrate Tencent cloud technology with such cars.

Alibaba provides Chinese carmakers with GPS and other car voice control systems equipment. It plans to further explore this field, and has announced that it will provide a similar system to Ford.

This article by Tangfeng originally appeared in Sina Technology and was translated by Pandaily.