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Alibaba's first smart car is up for pre-order right now

It's poised to push the Internet of Things into China's automobile market.
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After more than a year of development, Alibaba's first "internet car," the OS'Car RX5 sport utility vehicle, is available for pre-order in China. The SUV costs the equivalent of $22,230 (as a base price) and deliveries are expected to roll out in August. Alibaba partnered with China's largest automaker, the state-owned SAIC Motor Corp., to develop the new vehicle. The RX5 uses YunOS, the Alibaba operating system that powers its line of smart home appliances, including refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and air conditioners.

Alibaba's own news site Alizila reports that the company's goal is to connect all cars to the IoT ecosystem, where they can share data to create better experiences for users at home or on the go. The RX5 supports voice commands and navigation tools, and it will allow drivers to reserve and pay for parking spaces, gas station trips and coffee runs via Alibaba's payment service, Alipay. The "intelligent map" won't require WiFi or GPS to track the vehicle's location, the company says. Plus, the RX5 will save a unique "internet ID" for each driver that enters the vehicle, allowing the system to recommend specific music, air temperature or restaurants based on previous trips.

The SUV features three LED screens and room for up to four detachable, 360-degree cameras perfect for recording drives or taking selfies, Alizila says. YunOS will be open to other developers and companies who want to get in on the smart car game in China, YunOS president Zhang Chunhui says.

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