Drive-by-smile: Tencent plans autonomous vehicle AI, cockpit facial recognition

Watch The Avengers while driving 120kph: Visteon’s SmartCore will be the platform for Tencent’s Automotive Intelligence solution

China’s internet giant Tencent and cockpit electronics firm Visteon Corporation have announced plans to develop autonomous driving and intelligent cockpit solutions, initially for Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) R&D Center in China.

Under the agreement, Visteon’s SmartCore cockpit domain control platform will incorporate Tencent Automotive Intelligence (TAI) solutions to enable user interaction and control based on facial expression and voice and gesture recognition – offering a compelling new digital experience to users.

Visteon, Tencent and GAC R&D will jointly develop, and share research results for, intelligent technologies for an integrated cockpit project targeted for commercialisation on GAC pure electric vehicles starting in 2020.

Wang Qiujing, president of GAC R&D Center; Sachin Lawande, president and CEO of Visteon; and Zhong Xiangping, vice president of Tencent.

The agreement was announced at CES 2019 in Las Vegas by Sachin Lawande, president and CEO of Visteon; Zhong Xiangping, vice president of Tencent; and Wang Qiujing, deputy chief of GAC executive committee and president of GAC R&D Center.

Visteon’s SmartCore single-chip multi-core processor will help vehicle manufacturers transition to the intelligent cockpit. SmartCore independently operates multiple displays and applications throughout the cockpit, keeping occupants informed and entertained. As the first Tier 1 supplier to supply a cockpit domain controller on a production vehicle (in early 2018), Visteon will provide robust and reliable hardware systems for Tencent TAI applications.

Visteon’s DriveCore, a scalable, fail-safe and open platform for autonomous driving of Level 3 and above, was designed for automakers and partners. It consists of the hardware, an in-vehicle middleware for safe communication, and a PC-based software toolset enabling machine learning algorithms.

“We are pleased to cooperate with Tencent and GAC on autonomous driving and intelligent cockpits,” Lawande said. “In the China market, cloud-based intelligent and connected technologies are key to improving the cockpit experience. Tencent and GAC are ideal cooperative partners for Visteon in this sector, and in this very important market, as both have undergone rapid development and are committed to creativity and quality.”

Xiangping of Tencent said that the intelligent vehicle will be the next-generation platform for the mobile internet. “Mobility solutions are being redefined and Tencent smart mobility solutions have been leading the trend,” he said. “By incorporating content and service ecosystems with advanced safety features, Tencent aims to better connect people and services in the age of new mobility. This strategic cooperation with industry-leading corporations Visteon and GAC will undoubtedly accelerate the research and progress for safer, smarter and more efficient mobility services.”

Qiujing of the GAC R&D Center said that Visteon and Tencent have been committed to the innovation of automotive intelligent connectivity technology. This spirit of innovation coincides with the open innovated concept of the GAC R&D Center. “In the future, based on GAC’s independent vehicle platform, we will continue to integrate with Tencent’s mobility ecology, intelligent driving algorithm technology and Visteon’s hardware platform technology,” he said. “We are dedicated to more advanced intelligent connectivity vehicle technology.”

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