Meet Roevew RX5, Alibaba’s first ever internet car! Unsurprisingly, the car wasn’t designed and engineered by Alibaba, but by a Chinese state-owned car company called SAIC.
So why is the RX5, which looks like a random car different from the regular cars? In the words of the Chairman of Alibaba’s Technology Steering Committee, Dr. Wang Jian:
The difference between an internet car and a traditional car is that connected smart operating systems like YunOS will improve the consumer experience beyond just driving…Smart operating systems become the second engine of cars, while data is the new fuel.
Now in layman’s terms, the RX5 will be able to use Alibaba’s e-commerce ecosystem to let drivers “book and pay for parking spaces, gas stations, and coffee shops through Alipay.”
It promises a customizable user experience that will allow the vehicle to recognize the driver by their smartphone or smartwatch and customize things to suit them.
It also boasts of an intelligent map that offers location tracking and directions without the need for Wi-Fi or GPS services. Finally, Alibaba’s internet car will have navigation and voice control features, as well as three LED screens for interfacing with the OS and 360-degree detachable cameras for recording trips—and selfies! And did I mention it is capable of controlling a drone?
However, despite this looking good on paper, the RX5 might not receive a warm welcome, especially when you consider the made-in-china syndrome, but apart from that, I guess the major issue people might have with Alibaba’s Internet car is with its security, since the car is connected to the internet, it will be quite easy for hackers to take control of it.
The car will be available in August and will have a $22,300 price tag.