The mega etailer recently announced its development of apps that will connect drivers to its ecommerce hub, letting them drive and shop on command

Chinese multinational conglomerate Alibaba announced on Tuesday at the annual Shanghai Auto Show that it is developing apps for drivers of connected cars to browse restaurants, make reservations, order food and more all by voice, in addition to motion and touch control.

These in-car services will come in the form of “mini-apps” versus standalone ones to enable faster access, implementing smaller file size. The development suggests a desire to compete in the market for operating systems in next-gen cars, as rivals like Tencent and Baidu have also made their way into the auto space: Baidu began with autonomous driving and also built an Android-like developer platform, while Tencent has been testing self-driving cars and working with industry veterans to make its own vehicles.

While some speculate as to whether Alibaba will eventually make its own vehicles altogether, currently the company seems focused on developing car-commerce software. The retailer has not yet released a launch date for the auto apps, simply stating that it is planning for a debut.

Alibaba


Lead image: stock photos from Lightfield Studios/Shutterstock

Chinese multinational conglomerate Alibaba announced on Tuesday at the annual Shanghai Auto Show that it is developing apps for drivers of connected cars to browse restaurants, make reservations, order food and more all by voice, in addition to motion and touch control.

These in-car services will come in the form of “mini-apps” versus standalone ones to enable faster access, implementing smaller file size. The development suggests a desire to compete in the market for operating systems in next-gen cars, as rivals like Tencent and Baidu have also made their way into the auto space: Baidu began with autonomous driving and also built an Android-like developer platform, while Tencent has been testing self-driving cars and working with industry veterans to make its own vehicles.