Alibaba invests in WayRay, a maker of augmented-reality dashboards for smart cars

Soon after launching its initial auto past year, Alibaba is digging further into the car industry. The Chinese Web and e-commerce behemoth is the lead trader in clever auto tech developer WayRay’s $18 million Collection B round, the startup announced.

Established in 2012, WayRay tends to make holographic navigation programs. According to its funding announcement, WayRay has presently expended $ten million of its own money, as properly as earlier enterprise funding, on the technologies that underpins Navion, an augmented-reality dashboard that overlays directions and other data onto a driver’s view of the highway. The organization strategies to start a shopper variation of Navion in 2017.

In a geared up assertion, Alibaba Group’s senior investment decision director, Ethan Xie, said, “We believe that there is big potential in the growth of leading-edge technologies like augmented reality and its application to different industries, like WayRay’s AR navigation technique in the car sector. The potential of augmented reality tends to make it an fascinating and promising location.”

Alibaba designed its debut in the auto industry past summertime, when the RX5, a clever auto it developed with SAIC (one particular of China’s “big four” state-owned car manufacturers—opened for pre-orders. The RX5 utilizes Alibaba’s Yun operating technique and the organization hopes to make the car or truck part of an Web-of-Issues ecosystem that will include its other clever hardware and Web providers like Alipay.

But Alibaba’s clever automobiles are presently up versus rivals from other big Chinese tech firms like LeEco, which payments its electric powered auto LeSee as “the initial mobility ecosystem on wheels,” and Baidu, which is creating clever auto technologies and autonomous motor vehicles with BAIC, a further of China’s big 4 state-owned automakers.

WayRay also said that it will partner with Banma Technologies—a joint enterprise concerning Alibaba Group and SAIC—to build an augmented-reality navigation and enjoyment technique for a auto that will be released by Banma in 2018. WayRay statements that this is “the world’s initial car or truck in-generation with a holographic AR head-up display screen.”

Featured Picture: WayRay







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