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Ford-owned Autonomic opts with Alibaba Cloud for entry into China

14 Aug 18

Ford Motor Company-owned Autonomic has opted to host its cloud-based platform for connected cars to China with Alibaba Cloud.

The timing is certainly apt, as according to a report from Research and Markets, demand for internet-enabled vehicles in the country is exceeding considerations about pricing and engine performance.

Furthermore, a report from Statista has forecast China’s connected-car industry to exceed US$5.9 billion in revenues this year and reach $10.87 billion by 2022. This has seen surging demand for cloud computing and data centers on the ‘edge’.

As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on Tuesday, Autonomic’s open platform that effectively enables to connected cars to communicate with city infrastructure – Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC) – will be hosted on Alibaba Cloud’s China network. The agreement officially marks Autonomic’s (a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Smart Mobility) into China.

“Alibaba Cloud and Autonomic share the same vision of redefining the future of vehicle connectivity through technology,” says Alibaba Cloud president Simon Hu.

“With our new collaboration, we will be able to empower the transportation ecosystem and ultimately benefit the end users.”

The duo also announced that they will continue to delve into additional opportunities in the transportation and mobility sectors.

According to Autonomic, the entry of the TMC platform in China will enable stakeholders from automakers and public-transit operators to large-scale fleet operators and software developers to improve and deliver new connectivity and driving experiences for Chinese consumers.

An example provided by Autonomic is how the TMC platform could provide standardized data and infrastructure that facilitates the development of apps for connected vehicles like trip planning, fleet management for ride-hailing businesses, or digital services for self-driving cars.

“TMC is positioned to help automakers and other players in the transportation ecosystem meet growing demand for connected vehicles and mobility services in China, one of the fastest-growing mobility markets in the world,” says Autonomic co-founder and CEO Gavin Sherry.

“Through this partnership with Alibaba Cloud, we will accelerate our vision of creating the largest connected vehicle offering globally, while powering smart cities and vehicle connectivity in China.”

Sherry says that currently, the innovation required for the swelling transportation of the future is being held back by complex technology and disconnected communication between automotive companies.

“The TMC streamlines this process by establishing a standard language, with which different companies and developers are able to contribute to the improvement of autonomous and connected vehicle services,” Sherry says.

“Autonomic’s TMC paves the way for all automakers, in addition to Ford, and developers to build the connected vehicle ecosystem of the future.”