China’s Geely Auto and local e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding this month announced a strategic partnership focused on developing intelligent vehicle systems, including autonomous driving, according to local reports.
Geely aims to strengthen its position in the fast-growing smart electric vehicle (EV) segment, which has been a key driver of overall vehicle market growth in the country over the past year.
The deal is also a new attempt by Alibaba to break into the autonomous driving market, a segment currently led by tech companies like Pony.ai and Baidu, according to local reports.
Although fully autonomous vehicles are not yet widespread anywhere, the technology is said to have enormous potential and is attracting significant investments from tech companies and automakers.
On the other hand, intelligent vehicle systems such as driver assistance systems (ADAS) have become essential features in current vehicles.
Geely Auto reported an 8% increase in global sales to 1,432,988 units last year, with sales of new energy, electric and hybrid vehicles reaching 328,727 units.
Exports increased by 72% to 198,242 units. The company is targeting global sales of 1.65 million in 2023.