Chinese Internet company Alibaba recently announced it will be investing in WayRay, a company that makes holographic augmented reality (AR) dashboard systems for cars.
WayRay, founded in 2012, is behind the technology that created Navion, an AR navigation system that projects the directions and other important information onto the driver’s view of the road. WayRay is hoping that the Navion system will be ready for commercial consumer release some time this year.
Alibaba began working in the car industry last year, when it partnered with state-owned car manufacturer SAIC to create the RX5 smart car, which uses the Yun operating system developed by Alibaba.
In a statement, Alibaba Group’s senior investment director, Ethan Xie, said: “We believe there is huge potential in the development of leading-edge technology like augmented reality and its application to various industries, like WayRay’s AR navigation system in the auto sector. The potential of augmented reality makes it an exciting and promising area.”
WayRay also plans to work with Banma Technologies, a Alibaba/SAIC joint venture, to create an AR navigation system for a car that is planned to be launched some time in 2018.
Car manufacturers are beginning to utilize virtual reality (VR) and AR in other ways, such as Chevrolet using AR in their advertising campaign for the new Camero, or AT&T demonstrating how their ‘connected car’ services work with the help of the Microsoft HoloLens.
VRFocus will keep you updated on AR technology use in automobiles.