SAIC Motor promotes integration of auto and AI

During the 2020 World Artificial Intelligence Congress on July 9 in Shanghai, Wang Xiaoqiu, president of SAIC Motor, delivered a keynote speech. He shared the company’s experience in exploring and deepening the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and automobile industry.

Convenient life through intelligent driving, manufacturing and mobility

SAIC Motor raised the idea of empowering the automobile industry with AI technology at the first World Artificial Intelligence Congress in 2018.

Over the past two years, SAIC Motor has been actively exploring the fields of intelligent driving, intelligent manufacturing and intelligent mobility.

SAIC Motor has sold more than 1.7 million internet-connected cars. By the end of 2019, its independently developed Banma internet of vehicles system had been used on mainstream models for several joint venture brands and completed system upgrades by over 1 million users around the world at the end of last year.

During the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai last November, SAIC Motor’s "5G + L4” smart autonomous heavy truck completed demonstration operations for the first time. It is expected to help improve port operations and traffic efficiency, and has realized autonomous operation between Donghai Bridge and Yangshan Deep-water Port. It started quasi-commercial operations this year, and is expected to transport 20,000 standard containers throughout the year.

For intelligent manufacturing, SAIC Motor has developed a mass customized C2B project, with nearly 8 million customers participating in product development, manufacturing and sales.

Meanwhile, it is exploring the digitalization of manufacturing systems and supply chains, and has built several intelligent manufacturing benchmark plants for vehicles and auto parts, such as its passenger cars base in Lin-gang and the new energy electric drive system base in Baoshan.

Taking the automobile steering system factory in Wuhan as an example, through the implementation of the "black lamp workshop" technology upgrade, the on-site inventory decreased by 85 percent, delivery times were reduced by 80 percent, the product qualification rate was increased to 99.9 percent, and many human resources were activated in other areas.

For intelligent mobility, SAIC Motor targets intelligent mobility for people and continuously expands related services. It has accumulated more than 22 million users providing hundreds of millions of services every year.

After operating for 18 months, SAIC Motor's online car-hailing business has been operating in seven cities, focusing on the main channel of "the Integration of Yangtze River Delta region", with nearly 100,000 orders per day at peak time.

Relying on its AI data platform, SAIC Motor's new energy time-sharing car leasing service and enterprise car rental businesses continue to enrich product functions and improve customer experience.

SAIC Motor has also teamed up with China Mobile, Huawei and Jiading district to build the 5G Smart Transport Demonstration Area, and the 5G Smart Car Demonstration Experience project was also launched during the congress.

Deep integration of AI and automobiles

“Through the trials and experiences over the years, we are deeply aware that AI, big data, cloud computing and other new-generation information technologies are important elements that drive the scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation," Wang said.

In the future, with the maturity of 5G, AI and other technologies, the economy and society are due to transfer from "networking" to "intelligence".

Currently, the global auto industry is facing major changes that have not been seen in a century, and the domestic auto industry is undergoing major adjustments that have not been encountered for many years. The sudden COVID-19 pandemic has become a catalyst for the auto industry to form a new pattern.

"Speeding up the deep integration of new technologies with the automobile industry and continuously stimulating new drivers are the requirements for transforming and upgrading the automobile industry," Wang said.

For consumption changes, new technologies like AI will drive the continuous improvement and upgrading of automobile products and services. Apart from basic travel, people can expect more from the driving experience in the future. SAIC Motor is developing a new intelligent cockpit with 5G technology on the basis of an internet of vehicles system to increase interaction between the car and the driver, so that the car can truly become an intelligent and convenient mobile terminal. Relevant products will be officially put into mass production at the end of 2020.

From the perspective of technological development, “defining a car by its software” is becoming mainstream, making it a must for automobile companies to adapt to this new system.

Software is not only the core that pushes the development of the auto industry from "electric" to "intelligent network", but also the key to the differentiation of future automobile products and services.

To this end, SAIC Motor set up a software center at the end of 2019, aiming to accelerate the continuous upgrading of autonomous driving and mobile services by integrating resources and developing a unified data platform.

At the same time, SAIC Motor is also striving to independently develop an exclusive framework for electric vehicles and a new electrical framework with the integration of "on-board central brain + domain controller", and is cooperating with domestic and foreign chip research and development (R&D) enterprises to create customized chips.

In the future, SAIC Motor will continue to improve its core capabilities in AI, big data, cloud computing and internet information security to accelerate the application of software technology in products and services.

National and local support will help accelerate the implementation of new technologies such as AI in the automobile industry.

In the past two years, China has issued a series of guidelines to support the innovative development of smart cars. As one of the pioneers of the intelligent car industry in China, SAIC Motor is also exploring ways of developing intelligent driving technology that is technically reliable, affordable, safe and controllable.

SAIC Motor has developed the third-generation intelligent driving platform, with nearly 300,000 km of road tests and nearly 20 million km of virtual simulation tests.

At the same time, SAIC Motor is taking the lead in developing a plan to settle a national innovation platform for intelligent cars in the Yangtze River Delta in Shanghai. It will use its strength to start from Shanghai and create demonstration areas in YRD cities, implementing Robotaxi, driverless driving in closed areas and driverless buses along fixed routes.

SAIC will continue to deepen cooperation with industry peers and cross-industry partners, and integrate domestic and foreign resources, to promote the high-quality development of the automobile industry and provide a better automobile life for people.

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