Science

Alibaba dabbles with driverless car technology, launches smart cars

07 Jul 2016 | By Sneha Johny

Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group said it will launch its new fleet of smart cars into the market, in collaboration with China's SAIC Motors.

They are powered by smart phones connected to the internet, enabling it to be guided by driverless car technology.

The car had been under development for over a year, and is slated for release this year, priced at $22,230

In context: Alibaba ventures into autonomous technology, launches smart cars

Alibaba: History and growthAlibaba's launch, growth, and its history

Established in 1999, Alibaba started out with an online retailing portal that helped connect manufacturers based in China to prospective buyers across the globe.

Led by former English school teacher Jack Ma, the company grew tremendously, and clocked nearly $170 billion in sales by 2012.

The tech company, based in Hangzhou, China, had later ventured into multiple avenues like payment and cloud-computing services.

What is a smart car?

A smart car is a car that primarily targets autonomous technology, whereby it would be guided driverless. The car would be enabled with internet connectivity with the help of a smart phone, and does not require much manual intervention.
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07 Jul 2016Alibaba dabbles with driverless car technology, launches smart cars

The RX5All you need to know about Alibaba's RX5

Usually most cars are powered by external apps or smart phones, but with the launch of the RX5, Alibaba aims to bring into play the car's very own operating system.

The SUV has a its own navigation control systems, and will also come with voice control.

It is also set to see detachable cameras that can be used to record videos and take pictures.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The Internet of Things is the term used to define the ability of objects around us to send and receive information without the requirement for any personal interaction. For this to be fully functional, a high level of network connectivity must be enabled.

YunOS operating systemAlibaba exploring innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT)

With the launch of its first fleet of smart cars, Alibaba is exploring newer avenues in terms of the technology incorporated in the system.

For every autonomous car, the data fields in to the system through third-party or external apps.

Alibaba has created its own operating system, called YunOS, and has even made it available to other companies for use with their services.

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Alibaba enables use of Alipay with SUV

The launch of the new RX5 saw the e-commerce giant enable users and drivers of the SUV to pay for all necessities like gas stations, parking fees, cafe bills, and so forth just by using their Alipay card.