Tencent pushes wider adoption of AI-powered smart mobility system from a vehicle’s cockpit to the factory floor

Tencent sees its smart mobility solution helping industry partners in vehicle research and development, manufacturing and even customer services. The Chinese tech giant already counts more than 100 carmakers and various automotive industry players as partners. — SCMP

Tencent Holdings is pushing for the wide adoption of its smart mobility solutions, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to help speed up the manufacture of next-generation smart cars in the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) market.

Senior executives of the Shenzhen-based technology behemoth on Wednesday took the wraps off this initiative at an event in Beijing, where they touted the advantages of having its mobility solution backed by the firm’s own large language model (LLM) – the technology used to train generative AI services like ChatGPT – to not only enhance in-vehicle experience, but help provide efficiencies across the automotive sector’s supply chain.

“We have been exploring cutting-edge technologies, including AI and LLM, with industry partners,” Tencent senior executive vice-president Dowson Tong, who is also chief executive of the company’s Cloud and Smart Industries Group, said in his keynote speech at the event.

That collaboration includes potential adoption of those technologies as well as cloud computing and online mapping services “across various business scenarios”, with an eye to supporting the upgrade of the industry’s supply chain, Tong said.

Tencent Holdings senior executive vice-president Dowson Tong, who is also chief executive of the company’s Cloud and Smart Industries Group. Photo: Handout

Tencent’s latest push shows the potential new opportunities on the mainland’s vast auto market, where major EV makers are currently caught in an escalating price war and autonomous-driving system developers struggle to make gains in advancing a future of self-driving cars.

“We have seen the decent progress that AI models have made in the smart cockpit”, said Zhong Xuedan, vice-president at Tencent Intelligent Mobility, part of the company’s cloud business. “But these models have a wider application in the automotive industry beyond in-vehicle experience.”

LLMs “could be used in many areas, from research and development, production, marketing to customer services”, Zhong said.

Tencent expects its smart mobility solution, which is based on the company’s own Hunyuan LLM, to assist automotive industry partners in vehicle research and development, manufacturing, marketing, customer services and office collaboration.

Tencent Holdings’ intelligent mobility solutions business operates under the Shenzhen-based company’s Cloud and Smart Industries Group. Photo: Shutterstock

At the Beijing event, Tencent shared its vision of a smart vehicle’s cockpit, which involved strategic adoption of its apps ecosystem that includes multipurpose messaging app WeChat, Tencent Video and an assortment of video gaming apps.

More than 48% of new vehicles sold in mainland China have been equipped with certain smart cockpit configurations since 2021, according to consultancy IHS Markit. By 2025, that number is expected to reach 75%.

Tencent said it has already partnered with more than 100 vehicle makers and automotive industry players, including German luxury brand Mercedes-Benz, Japan’s Toyota Motor, Chinese state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group and Changan Automobile. It added that more than 15 million cars are expected to come with its smart mobility solution by the end of this year. – South China Morning Post

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