Alibaba adds more autonomous autos to its Cloud

Deloitte China and Alibaba Cloud have jointly established the Deloitte-Alibaba Cloud Auto Industry Center. Based in Hangzhou, China, the center will focus on providing customers in the automobile industry end-to-end solutions including autonomous driving, intelligent manufacturing and digital marketing.

With the new venture, Alibaba Cloud is doubling down on driverless vehicles. Earlier this month the Hangzhou-headquartered giant teamed up with Tesla rival and fellow Chinese brand Xpeng to open a computing center to train software for self-driving cars in Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia.

The alliance with Deloitte China though isn’t just about making cars to give Elon Musk sleepless nights. With the Deloitte-Alibaba Cloud Auto Industry Center, the parties aim to support the digital transformation of China’s automobile industry, leveraging the benefits of cloud computing technologies to capture the increasing opportunities available in the country.

“Deloitte estimates that by 2030, there will be around 82.5 million autonomous vehicles globally, and by 2035, China will be the largest autonomous vehicle market with more than 5.7 million vehicles,” said Deloitte China automotive industry leader Andy Zhou. “(The) Chinese autonomous driving industry is pioneering a new era driven by technology competition, ecology, consumer perceptions, and regulations.”

Li Qiang, general manager for vehicle industry, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, added: “Alibaba Cloud has provided stable and reliable cloud computing services for more than 70 percent of domestic auto vehicle enterprises.

“As software-defined vehicles becomes more popular, we are confident to support more enterprises’ digitalization journey and eventually, (to become) cloud-native, in order to enjoy the benefits brought about by the digitalization of the entire vehicle value chain.”

Outside of China, notable cloud investments in the future of travel include Amazon Web Services powering self-driving startup Aurora’s cloud-based machine learning and simulation-based development for autonomous vehicle technology, as revealed in December.