Alibaba is jumping behind the wheel after it announced that Daimler, Audi and Volvo will bring its voice assistant to their vehicles.
The assistant — Tmall Genie — is scheduled to go into cars “in the near future.” When it does, Alibaba said it will enable drivers to check fuel levels, mileage, battery levels and engine status using voice controls. Beyond diagnostics, it’ll also cover door windows, air conditioning and other settings.
Tmall Genie was launched last year when Alibaba unveiled a smart speaker in the style of Amazon’s Echo products and Google Home, although the AI also connects to third-party hardware, too. The Chinese firm said it has sold more than two million of its smart devices so far, and it is working on linking them with the car-based AI to allow users to check their vehicle from their home.
This week’s Genie auto launch is one of the first moves from Alibaba’s AI Lab institution, which was announced as part of a $15 billion push into artificial intelligence, machine learning, IOT, quantum computing and other emerging technologies last year.