Alibaba invests in WayRay, a maker of augmented-reality dashboards for good automobiles

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After launching its first automobile final yr, Alibaba is digging deeper into the car trade. The Chinese language Web and e-commerce behemoth is the lead investor in good automobile tech developer WayRay’s $18 million Collection B spherical, the startup introduced.

Based in 2012, WayRay makes holographic navigation programs. In response to its funding announcement, WayRay has already spent $10 million of its personal capital, in addition to earlier enterprise funding, on the expertise that underpins Navion, an augmented-reality dashboard that overlays instructions and different info onto a driver’s view of the highway. The corporate plans to launch a shopper model of Navion in 2017.

In a ready assertion, Alibaba Group’s senior funding director, Ethan Xie, mentioned, “We believe there is huge potential in the development of leading-edge technology like augmented reality and its application to various industries, like WayRay’s AR navigation system in the auto sector. The potential of augmented reality makes it an exciting and promising area.”

Alibaba made its debut within the automobile trade final summer time, when the RX5, a sensible automobile it developed with SAIC (one in all China’s “big four” state-owned auto producers—opened for pre-orders. The RX5 makes use of Alibaba’s Yun working system and the corporate hopes to make the automobile a part of an Web-of-Issues ecosystem that may embrace its different good and Web providers like Alipay.

However Alibaba’s good automobiles are already up in opposition to rivals from different large Chinese language tech corporations like LeEco, which payments its electrical automobile LeSee as “the first mobility ecosystem on wheels,” and Baidu, which is growing good automobile expertise and autonomous automobiles with BAIC, one other of China’s large 4 state-owned automakers.

WayRay additionally mentioned that it’ll associate with Banma Applied sciences—a three way partnership between Alibaba Group and SAIC—to create an augmented-reality navigation and leisure system for a automobile that can be launched by Banma in 2018. WayRay claims that that is “the world’s first vehicle in-production with a holographic AR head-up display.”

Featured Picture: WayRay

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Désiré LeSage

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