Audi and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group agreed on Nov. 19 to cement their strategic cooperation on such fields as automotive navigation system and in-car digital assistant services.
Under the cemented collaboration, Audi’s next-generation vehicle platform will develop a navigation system that satisfy Chinese users’ usage behaviors based on the navigation engine and service offered by AutoNavi, an Alibaba-owned mapping and location-based service provider. Besides, the platform will introduce Tmall Genie’s in-car intelligent assistant to improve the connectivity between home and vehicles.
Audi and Alibaba’s cooperation on navigation system can date back to 2006 when AutoNavi started providing mapping data service for Audi’s car owners.
After tightening the tie-up, AutoNavi will integrate its capabilities in navigation software, navigation map data and high-precision data into Audi’s new-generation in-car infotainment system. It will supply Audi with the high-definition (HD) map based on highly automated driving functions and the HD map data related to the expressways and urban freeways nationwide as well as the urban roads of many cities. Those product and data are set to be used in Audi’s next-generation vehicle platform.
Tmall Genie, the smart speaker developed by Alibaba Group, began serving users of Audi’s key models in 2018. From this year’s Sept., Tmall Genie’s core capabilities in smart voice assistant, smart home assistant, life service assistant and vehicle-home connectivity became available for Audi users as a car’s in-house program. Car occupants are able to activate Alipay application through Tmall Genie to order takeout, buy more minutes for mobile phones and do on-line shopping.