Alibaba Group launches first-of-its kind “internet -connected car“

Alibaba Group yesterday launched a first-of-its-kind "internet-connected car" capable of being scaled up for mass production in the near future.

The YunOS-enabled car named "OS'Car RX5" is the result of joint effort with SAIC Motor Corporation.

"YunOS for cars" is a smart operating system from Alibaba Group which is tailor-made for the automotive industry, the company said in a statement.

The car comes with advanced fuel technology, more powerful accelerator, lower oil consumption and a shorter braking distance.

It has up to four detachable action cameras, which enable video recordings of the journey and 360-degree in-car selfies, which can be shared instantly with friends via the connected smartphone.

As the first car with an "Internet ID", it can recognise the driver through connected smartphones or smartwatches. It also allows personalised internet services such as greetings, preferred music and destinations.

"YunOS will make cars an even more indispensable part of human life in the future society. Today marks the dawn of that new era. We feel proud and privileged to be playing a part in driving that change," said Jack Ma, executive chairman, Alibaba Group, IANS reported.

''YunOS will make cars an even more indispensable part of human life in the future society. Today marks the dawn of that new era. We feel proud and privileged to be playing a part in driving that change,'' said Jack Ma, executive chairman, Alibaba Group.

Alibaba's internet-connected car will set the Chinese e-commerce giant up to quickly introduce driverless vehicle technology, chief technology officer Wang Jian told Reuters on Wednesday.

"You'll quickly see driverless car technology resulting from this platform," Wang said on the sidelines of the event.

Among major tech companies, Alibaba has been a late entrant trailing platforms already launched by Alphabet's Google, Apple and Baidu.

However, according to commentators, the race to commercialise driverless cars was far from over with experts predicting that a fully autonomous car would not hit the market until 2020 or later.