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“We shore up the main capabilities of automobile manufacturers”

Global technology companies and the automotive industry are in close exchange.

Why is the automotive market attractive to Tencent?

According to a McKinsey survey, 69 per cent of Chinese consumers would like to change their car into an intelligently connected car. Automotive manufacturers are vying to change their positioning from automakers to mobility service providers.

As a digital assistant, Tencent is well positioned to help automotive manufacturers gain a better understanding of the Chinese market and its customers. Could you give us some examples? Zhong: First of all, we offer integrated automotive intelligence solutions and bring Internet services popular among Chinese consumers into the car, such as WeChat, QQ Music, or Tencent Maps. Secondly, we are forging into the new territory of autonomous driving, mainly by focusing our efforts on three basic pillars: a data development cloud platform, a simulation platform, and high-precision mapping. In terms of simulation, Tencent has combined its game engine with industrial-grade vehicle dynamics models and integrated traffic simulations based on virtual-reality, allowing users to test autonomous driving in a highly realistic simulated environment. Talking about over-the-air capabilities, how important is cloud technology in this context? Zhong: One cannot talk about digitalisation without mentioning the indispensable cloud capability behind it. What exactly are potential applications of this technology? Zhong: During the R&D and manufacturing stages, automobile manufacturers are able to cut costs and boost efficiency by employing big data to provide guidelines. Big data is also essential for accurate lead generation and thus enhances marketing and sales efficiency. With respect to after-sales, the Tencent Cloud helps manufacturers set up a comprehensive user management system and provide multi-scenario value-added services, such as ride sharing, which may lead to novel business models.

How can companies like Tencent and classic OEMs benefit from a collaboration?

By shoring up the four main capabilities of automotive manufacturers, Tencent helps automakers enhance the customer experience. When a customer walks into a 4S dealership, intelligent systems will immediately identify them and anticipate their needs. Second, the capability to communicate and connect with customers in various ways. Customers interact with their car by voice. Virtual keys can work as a platform for the auto brand to communicate and interact with its customers. Brands can inform their customers of the real-time status and maintenance progress of their cars via WeChat notifications.

What role do vehicles play in the overall concept of the Smart City of the future?

Zhong: With new technologies such as big data, cloud computing, AI or 5G, Smart Cities will spring up one after another. Vehicles will become important data nodes in these cities. Built on 5G technology and the cooperative vehicle-infrastructure system, the intelligent V2X human-vehicle-road network will become the new urban infrastructure.

In addition, self-driving vehicles are more versatile and can function as different spaces, such as conference room, cinema, shop, home, etc., increasingly blurring the boundaries between them.

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Oct 07, 2020 at 10:31

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