Over 80 companies exhibited their automobile technology at the Shanghai Electronic Show. The exhibits, which filled up 2 of the 6 conference halls, formed the largest product category at the show.
China is at present the biggest automobile market in the world and it is the most crowded market place as well. Of late, cut-throat competition in the market, progressive ventures by new startups, and some extremely popular mobile super-apps like WeChat from Tencent (TCEHY) have turned consumers in China more sensitive about the accessories that they want their vehicles to have.
Holoride, for instance, is a German startup that first started as a moonshot in Audi, broke away from the automobile giant in January this year, and is coming up with virtual reality gadget for the backseat.
The company is planning to start its endeavor by introducing Holoride to controlled environments like theme parks. It has set a goal of officially launching an app for the customers in 2021.
Automakers are turning their focus to making their products more and more compatible with smartphones. A number of companies like Tesla, for example, are gradually coming up with apps that allow users to get into their cars without using keys. Some companies are looking forward to taking a few further steps by making things that will enable the users to get into their cars with the help of smartwatches. Mobvoi, the AI startup based in Beijing, which comes up with various wearables and automobile technical gadgets is one.
Mobvoi is currently working on a technology that will provide people the option of using voice recognition technology for the next generation vehicles of Volkswagen. The technology is being developed through a joint venture with the German automobile giant.
Alibaba has announced that it will join hands with Audi, Honda and Renault to equip their vehicles with Tmall Genie, which is a virtual assistant app that helps the users to control smart home appliances like heating, air-conditioning and the likes remotely.