GAC Group Employees assemble a car at its plant in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.(Tan Qingju/For China Daily)
Guangzhou Automobile Group Co, a major automaker based in Guangdong province, launched an in-car intelligent network terminal product on Thursday, in association with internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.
According to the GAC Group, various varieties of its vehicles in the near future will be equipped with the terminal as the company steps up its efforts to develop more internet-based vehicles.
"We are upgrading our products by introducing more intelligent services into cars," said Feng Xingya, president of GAC. The intelligent terminal product will go into mass production by 2018, according to Feng.
"Based on the terminal product, our cars will be smart in voice interaction, intelligent driving and personalized performance," said Feng.
The product was based on GAC's self-innovated intelligent network platform and Tencent's vehicle-connected AI In Car system, which is an integration of safety, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
GAC signed a cooperation agreement with Tencent in September, aiming to develop business in areas such as internet-connected vehicles, intelligent driving, cloud platforms and big data.
According to the agreement, GAC will also explore capital investment in auto-related online commerce, auto insurance, mobility service and new energy vehicles.
In the area of intelligent driving, GAC and Tencent will conduct joint research on vehicles' usage and create an intelligent connected vehicle brand with their own characteristics and competitiveness.
"Based on the automobile trend, which is of more intelligent driving in the future, we will make use of our advantage in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and big data processing to help develop intelligent connected vehicles," said Zhong Xiangping, vice-chairman of Tencent.
"Priority will be given to performance, usability and consistence in joint efforts of development of intelligent-connected vehicles," said Zhong.
GAC also released the iSPACE electric concept car on Thursday, a day ahead of the annual Guangzhou Auto Show. The concept car is equipped with Tencent's AI in Car system, allowing drivers better interactions with the vehicles.
GAC produced and sold about 1.65 million vehicles in the first 10 months of this year, a year-on-year increase of nearly 26 percent.
The Guangzhou-based company will give priority to the development of homegrown vehicles, new energy technologies and intelligent connected vehicle service in the future, aiming to develop more than 20 varieties of new energy cars by 2020.
The company also started construction of an industrial park focusing on development of new energy and intelligent connected vehicles, with an investment of more than 45 billion yuan (.78 billion), in April.