Alibaba A.I. Labs, an AI research division of Alibaba Group, announced Tuesday at CES Asia partnerships with auto brands, including Audi, Renault and Honda to drive a smart mobility initiative in China.
Tmall Genie Auto, an Artificial Intelligence solution developed by Alibaba A.I. Labs, will be integrated into the automakers’ specific internet cars in China.
Alibaba A.I. Labs is dedicated to exploring next-generation human-and-computer interaction and turning novel user experience into reality. The in-house R&D department focuses on the development of AI applications across Alibaba’s commerce ecosystem, and provides AI solutions to Alibaba’s clients and partners.
With its research team, Alibaba A.I. Labs focuses on both theoretical research and product commercialization in various areas, including speech recognition, natural language processing, voice print identification, deep learning, and computer vision. The labs also focuses on developing AI products for consumers, including Tmall Genie, a voice- controlled smart home assistant developed by the Labs.
Owners of the three auto brands’ specific-model vehicles equipped with Tmall Genie Auto will have access to a wide variety of voice-controlled information and services in the near future; these include identifying nearby attractions and restaurants, booking movie tickets, ordering to-go boxes, checking the status of package deliveries, reading children’s books and ordering items on Alibaba’s retail platform.
In addition, car owners with a Tmall Genie-compatible device at home would be able to monitor and control their smart-home devices from their cars in the near future, performing daily tasks such as running a status check on temperature and light, or turning on the heater and air conditioning at home.
“By providing AI technologies, including speech-recognition and Natural Language Processing, Tmall Genie Auto enables car users to access an extensive in-car infotainment portfolio by tapping into Alibaba’s rich content and service ecosystem,” said Miffy Chen, general manager at Alibaba A.I. Labs. “We are thrilled to partner with global distinguished auto brands such as Audi, Renault and Honda. Together, we can greatly enhance our in-car services and make driving experience more intelligent and interconnected.”
“We aim to extend in-car voice assistant services according to the demands and needs of our Chinese customers,” said H.W. Vassen, senior director of digitalization and NEV development at Audi China. “To do so, one of our next steps is to intensity the cooperation with Alibaba Tmall Genie.”
“The launch of the Renault City K-ZE Tmall Genie Edition allows consumers to experience a deeper connection between scenarios in their lives at home and their lives on the go,” said Guillaume SICARD, vice president of sales and marketing, Region China, Groupe Renault. “It is also a manifesto that DRAC and Tmall will continue to maintain profound cooperation on areas such as brand marketing, potential customer mining and sales network enablement, in order to achieve new breakthroughs.”
“The world’s mobility industries are currently undergoing a major transformation. Our mobility and daily lives will finally enter into the era of Internet for Everything, Honda has been actively embracing the trend of electrification and ICVs, and accelerating the advancement of the third-generation Honda CONNECT system which includes the Smart AI function,” said Hasegawa Yusuke, executive vice president of Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. We look forward to working with Alibaba A.I. Labs on creative initiatives by leveraging the AI technology and Alibaba’s diverse ecosystem services.”
During CES Asia, Alibaba’s B2C marketplace Tmall also announced its tie-up with Renault to roll out an electric car featuring Tmall’s cat logo on the vehicle’s exterior design. The Renault City K-ZE genie edition, also integrated with Tmall Genie Auto, will be on sale in China later this year.
Tmall Genie can control over 100 million devices from over 600 smart appliance brands, offering its Internet of Things ecosystem capabilities to various sectors and user environments from home, car, hotels to nursing homes.
Alibaba A.I. Labs spearheads consumer AI product development at Alibaba Group. Since the launch of Tmall Genie Auto solution last April, Alibaba A.I. Labs has also partnered with auto brands including BMW and Volvo Cars to provide intelligent and connected mobility experiences for consumers in China.