Alibaba unveils OS'Car with YunOS

The Chinese ecommerce company said the first internet-connected car of its kind in mass production, coupled with its operating system for cars, marks a milestone for their IoT strategy.

Alibaba has unveiled the OS'Car internet car, featuring its own Android-based operating system, YunOS.

The OS'Car RX5, unveiled in Hangzhou in China's Zhejiang province on Wednesday, is the first mass produced internet car, and marks two years of intensive collaboration between Alibaba and automobile maker SAIC Motor Corp.

"What we are creating is not 'internet in the car', but a 'car on the internet'," said Dr Wang Jian, chairman of Technology Steering Committee at Alibaba. "Going forward, cars will become an important platform for internet services and smart hardware innovation. We will be embracing a world where everything is closely connected."

"Working together with SAIC, Alibaba will transform the car from a mode of transportation into a new platform for smart living," CEO Daniel Zhang added.

The OS provides drivers with a series of features including driver recognition; three integrated screens; an intelligent map for location tracking without Wi-Fi or GPS; voice commands through smart voice control; and four detachable action cameras "for 360-degree selfies".

It also uses a claimed open platform for different smart hardware and services, which will assist with the integration of further premium and creative driving experiences.

Alibaba operates a cloud datacentre in Sinagpore, which is also the location of its cloud business' headquarters.

Last year, Alibaba invested SoftBank Robotics Holdings, to prepare for what founder and board director Jack Ma dubbed "the fourth industrial revolution", the robotics industry.

The company recently announced 24 trillion yuan of revenue for the quarter ended March 31.