At the beginning of January 2016, Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China (MOT), without a sound, united several automobile manufacture enterprises and established the technical standards which included the safety specifications and communication protocols, which laid the technological foundation for the development of the unmanned driving, Internet of Cars and other smart car industries in the future. Though the Government kept low-profile at that time, some enterprises made public the information before long. Geely Automobile publicly expressed that China’s industrial circle and department concerned should take early action and make good preparation for the future development of the smart car industry. It is necessary for the Government of China (GOC) to take the lead in establishing the automatic drive and smart+connected project team and establishing the development strategies, technical routes, relevant standards and so on for China’s Internet of Cars and smart+connected cars.
A few months later, at the beginning of June 2016, National Development and Reform Commission, People’s Republic of China (NDRC), Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MOST), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT), Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) established the three-year action plan for the internet and intelligence industry. According to the content of the plan, China will promote the development of the intelligence industry in three major aspects and 9 minor terms. The smart car R&D and industrialization was emphatically mentioned in the plan. The Government of China (GOC) expressed its support for the in-depth cooperation among the backbone automobile enterprises and the internet enterprises in accelerating the R&D and application of intelligent aided driving, complicated environment perception, in-vehicle intelligent equipment and other software and hardware products, supporting the technology R&D of self-adaptive cruise control, automatic parking and safe driving, promoting the technology R&D, application and ecological construction of unmanned cars, developing the key technologies of smart car chips and in-vehicle smart operation system, and high-resolution map and positioning, realizing the gradual maturity of unmanned car technologies and products, and as long as some conditions are fulfilled, implementing smart car pilot projects, establishing the Internet of Cars system with integration of safe, extensive and smart cloud terminal, and promoting the typical application of smart cars.
Actually, in China, before the Government and many automobile manufacture enterprises, it was the Internet giants who for the first time voiced the slogan of “develop smart cars”. BAT (abbreviated for Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent) started fighting for the smart car market in 2014. In Aug 2014, Baidu initiated the R&D of “unmanned cars” by imitating Google. In the Baidu Hardware Summit held in April 2015, Baidu launched the smart+connected in-vehicle product of “CarNet”. The product could seamlessly connect the smart phones and in-vehicle system, and realize the “human-vehicle-mobile phone” connectivity. Drivers could vocally complete the path planning and navigation functions via the LBS platform of Baidu Map, and obtain the life services information of food and scenes nearby based on the geological locations. In March 2015, Alibaba Group and SAIC Motor Corporation Limited made a joint announcement to establish a 1-billion Internet car foundation, the Foundation will promote the Internet car development and the operation platform construction, and be an open capital platform and absorb more Internet car participants. At the same time, Tencent announced to sign “The Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement on the Internet+Smart Electrocars” with Foxconn and China Harmony Auto Holding Limited, and the three parties would actively conduct the innovation cooperation in the field of “the Internet+Smart Electrocars” in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province. According to the Agreement, Foxconn is responsible for designing and manufacturing electrocars. Foxconn supplies 106 parts to Tesla, and has accumulated abundant experience in the fields of motors, automobile dies, wire harnesses, batteries and so on. Meanwhile, China Harmony Auto Holding Limited, the grand luxurious dealer, which headquarters in Zhengzhou, conducts cooperation with Tesla China in after-sales repair and recharging. It is regarded that the cooperation has combined the advantages of Tencent in the Internet industry, the advantages of manufacturing technologies of Foxconn, and the leading advantages of Harmony Auto in the high-end car marketing and services field, and the cooperation result is worth expecting.
Apart from BAT, LeTV super car, launched by LeTV Group, another China’s Internet enterprise, in 2016, is also eye-catching. To build the super car which aims to form the Internet car ecology, Jia Yueting, the head of LeTV Group, personally invested 1 billion dollars. As of May 2016, the Series A financing of LeTV super car has be completed, and the financing amount is over 5 billion Yuan, and the investment comes from industrial capital, famous investment institutions, insurance and fund, and other large financial institutions. From Jia Yueting’s point of view, LeTV super car could thoroughly overturn China’s car market, like iPhone transformed the mobile phone market all-powerfully.
At present, in China, both the traditional automobile enterprises and the Internet enterprises have high expectations of the smart car market. And that the Government of China (GOC) constantly gives policy supports and welfare also objectively provides ceaseless impetus to these enterprises. The market survey institutions estimate that China’s smart car market scale will be more than150 billion Yuan. Taking the enormous auto after-sales services into consideration, the relevant market scale is expected to exceed one trillion Yuan. As the enterprises are in the initial investment phase in the field, the competition pattern of China’s smart car market is not clear. But anyway, the vast market prospect has been in existence objectively, the Government of China (GOC), what we need to emphatically focus on in the future is how the traditional automobile enterprises and the Internet enterprises cooperate with each other and make the cake of smart car market bigger and more delicious.
事实上，在中国，先于政府和诸多汽车制造企业，首先喊出“发展智能汽车”口号的是互联网巨头们。BAT从2014年即开始了有关智能汽车市场的争夺。2014年8月，百度首先效仿谷歌启动了“无人驾驶汽车”的研发。2015年4月举行的百度硬件峰会上，百度发布了智能互联车载产品“CarNet”。该产品可将用户的智能手机与车载系统无缝结合，实现“人、车、手机”之间的互联互通。驾驶者可以围绕百度地图的LBS平台，通过语音完成路线规划、导航等功能，并基于地理位置获得周边美食美景等生活服务信息。2015年3月，阿里巴巴集团则与上汽集团共同宣布，将合资设立10亿元互联网汽车基金，该基金将推进互联网汽车开发和运营平台建设，未来将是开放式的资本平台，吸纳更多互联网汽车参与者。与此同时，腾讯宣布牵手富士康及和谐汽车共同签订 “关于互联网+智能电动车的战略合作框架协议”，三方将在河南省郑州市积极展开“互联网+智能电动车”领域的创新合作。根据协议，富士康将负责电动车的设计与生产制造。美国的特斯拉有 106 个零部件来自富士康，富士康在电机、汽车模具、线束、电池等领域的积累十分深厚。同时，总部位于郑州的豪华车经销集团和谐汽车，则与特斯拉中国有售后维修、充电等方面的合作。业界认为，该合作结合了腾讯在互联网行业上的优势，富士康的生产制造技术以及和谐汽车在高端汽车营销及服务领域的领先优势，合作效果十分值得期待。
Written by Yan Xue, LG CNS Blog’s Regular Contributor