Banma 5.0 Released at Apsara Conference 2020
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During the Apsara Conference 2020 held on September 17–18, Alibaba Group’s Banma Network released Banma 5.0, a next-generation, intelligent automobile cockpit system that is expected to be gradually installed on vehicles early next year. The Banma Network also signed a strategic contract with FAW-Volkswagen. The two parties will explore cross-industrial integration and digital innovation.
Huang Youyong stated, “Banma 5.0 is a brand-new product developed for intelligent automobile cockpit. The purpose of this new system is to make trips more leisurely and enable car owners to truly enjoy the fun of time and space in the car.”
Banma 5.0: Achieving “Car to Life” Makes Trips More Leisurely
Besides arriving at the final destination, car owners are also paying more attention to the trip experience. The “five major changes” of Banma 5.0 will redefine car life.
According to Huang Youyong, Banma 5.0 upgrades the map desktop to the city desktop and changes information forms on automobiles. The map is the plane reflection of the road network. There are still some major problems in complex road conditions and events in cities are rarely perceived by maps. In addition to the high-definition map display, the city desktop can realize the perception of people, environments, and services, and present users with a “living city”.
Based on the city desktop, Banma 5.0 provides conversational navigation to create a brand-new driving experience through human-machine interaction. Banma 5.0 can choose routes actively by connecting multi-source perception and bodywork signals to capture road information in real-time. Through AI multi-round conversation technology, conversational navigation provides owners with assistant-type online services. Banma 5.0 provides intuitive guidance for new drivers and simple presentation for old ones. Taking narrow roads as an example, conversational navigation can give drivers correct guidance and achieve a more considerate driving experience than the experience provided by traditional radar and 360-degree scanning.
On-board applets will completely change the service form in the car. Huang Youyong pointed out that the essence of applets was ecological access with richer and more open cloud services. They can help with finding people through data-driven intelligence. In intelligent automobiles, applets are represented as active service flows, delivering the life experience of on-board listening, communication, and local life. The applets of Banma 5.0 are integrated into the Alibaba service ecosystem and are open to developers. The Banma Network also launched an on-board applet developing competition in August 2020 for developers to innovate and have more hands-on experiences with intelligent automobile development.
Banma 5.0 will change the way of working in the car. “We are not encouraging everyone to become workaholics, but we often have to deal with work problems while on the road. Since it is unavoidable sometimes, we will do our best to make the work simpler, safer, more efficient, and intelligent. All users can work on DingTalk in the car more conveniently.” Huang Youyong expressed his original intention to let DingTalk be integrated into automobiles. DingTalk is a platform for online communication and service between automobile enterprises and owners. The combination of full-time access to both cars and mobile phones helps automobile enterprises serve owners more efficiently.
Banma 5.0 will change the space property inside the car, creating a diverse “second space” for owners. The “second space” can be an entertaining space (based on Banma Life — Internet Radio), a parent-child space (based on on-board intelligent devices, like Banma Vlog), or a working space (based on on-board integration with DingTalk.) In addition to meeting the needs of an efficient trip, Banma 5.0 provides more intelligent, personalized, and adaptive services at the same time.
Banma’s Five-Year Transformation: Open-Eco Boosts the Digital Upgrade of Automobile Enterprises
Since 2016, Banma has released new versions once every year. Banma 1.0 initiated the map desktop and systematically designed interconnection protocols for voice interaction, automobiles, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Banma 2.0 realized the mass production and boarding of AR navigation and scenarized automobile and trip services for the first time, beginning the practice of “finding people through services.” Banma 3.0 launched a scenario engine open to industry partners and introduced the visual design of voice assistants. Banma 4.0 added high-tech functions, such as natural and continuous AI conversation, sound cloning, car-home interconnection, the Alipay applet, the A-B parallel world, and a personalized AI image. Banma 5.0 placed more emphasis on users’ potential trips and living experiences and made cooperation more open.
This year, Banma Network put forward the idea of “Powered by AliOS”. In addition to the “Whole Family” delivery model, Banma Network launched the “Ecological Empowerment” cooperation model to give automobile enterprises more options.
“Banma 5.0 is a sample of an intelligent cockpit system based on AliOS as the underlying operating system. It will open up cooperation with automobile enterprises that can choose services as needed.” Zhang Chunhui, Vice President of Alibaba Group and Co-CEO of Banma Network, stressed that Banma Network would help automobile enterprises implement data-defined products, software-defined automobiles, and digital upgrades.
At the Apsara Conference 2020, Banma Network signed a strategic cooperation agreement with FAW-Volkswagen online. Banma Network will introduce AliOS and cloud computing as infrastructure into the entire lifecycle of automotive products. Through big data and AI technologies, Banma Network will help FAW-Volkswagen to upgrade its digital intelligence and jointly create new experiences for intelligent automobiles.