According to news from the Nikkei Asian Review, the Japanese automaker and AutoNavi are planning to work on a service that allows drivers to make reservations using AutoNavi maps, as well as conduct payments with Alipay. It would also permit drivers to pay for gas and parking via Alipay.
While Honda and AutoNavi have been partnered since 2015 on multipurpose car navigation systems, this collaboration aims to utilize Alipay’s many services. Alibaba’s mobile payment method has more than 500 million users.
Both companies are also working on other partnerships: Honda is developing an electric vehicle with information technology company Neusoft that is set to debut sometime this year, while Alibaba provides Chinese automakers with systems for GPS voice control and other in-car devices and is also providing a similar system to Ford.
With Chinese President Xi Jinping supporting the development of technologies like self-driving cars and electric vehicles, internet companies are becoming increasingly involved in the country’s auto industry.
Baidu, which operates China’s largest search engine, launched its Apollo open-source, autonomous-driving platform, which uses artificial intelligence technology that the company is developing with the Chinese government. It has attracted over 1,700 domestic and international partners, including Daimler, Ford and Intel.
Tencent Holdings has invested $1.77 billion in Tesla, as well as in Chinese electric vehicle startups. Chairman and CEO Pony Ma believes the future of automobiles lies in connected cars and discussed his intentions to integrate Tencent cloud technology into vehicles.