VW and Mobvoi team up to bring AI powered vehicles to China

Posted: 7 April 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

Volkswagen is investing $180 million to bring artificial intelligence to cars.

The auto manufacturer is teaming up with Bejing-based technology company Mobvoi to develop AI for VW’s next generation of vehicles. The investment from VW will bring Mobvoi’s value to almost $1billion, previous backers include Google and Sequoia Capital.
Mobvoi will provide VW with its voice recognition and language processing technologies for use in its vehicles.

“All cars will soon be digitalised, they will become like mobile computers,” said Li Zhifei, Mobvoi’s founder. “We want to enable voice interaction and personalised services and accelerating [the development of] driverless cars. The technology incubated in China will be adopted in Germany.”

Li said that China was more likely to embrace autonomous vehicles due to the may congested roads in many major cities. Mobvoi has developed a smart rear-view mirror that provides navigation, infotainment and instant messaging, the system responds to voice commands.

“We are impressed by Mobvoi’s innovative approach of AI technologies, and we are pleased to form this joint venture to explore the next generation of smart mobility,” said Jochem Heizmann, chief executive of Volkswagen China.

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