China’s Alibaba Group announced that its smart voice-controlled assistant will feature in vehicles from Audi, Renault and Honda in China, as the tech giant expands in artificial intelligence.
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The Tmall Genie Auto smart speaker will allow drivers to use voice commands such as to place orders on Alibaba’s online retail platform and buy movie tickets, Alibaba said at the CES Asia 2019 technology trade show in Shanghai.
Alibaba said in a joint statement with the three automakers, that in near future the smart speakers will also allow drivers to monitor and control smart devices at houses equipped with a Tmall Genie-compatible device. Though the company hasn’t specified which vehicle models will come equipped with this feature.
According to Miffy Chen, general manager at Alibaba AI Labs:
“We are thrilled to partner with global, distinguished auto brands such as Audi, Renault and Honda, we can greatly enhance our in-car services and make driving experiences more intelligent and interconnected.”
The Tmall Genie is akin to Amazon’s Echo. Alibaba launched the device in 2017 and released an auto version in April last year. Other automakers that have said they will install the device in their vehicles include BMW and Volvo Cars. Amazon also has a vehicle version of its Echo, dubbed the Echo Auto, which it announced in September.