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Alibaba invests in auto-related AR firm

WAYRAY, a Switzerland-based company founded in 2012, announced on Tuesday that it has received US$18 million from investors led by Alibaba to develop its augmented reality (AR) technology applied in connected cars.

“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,” said Ethan Xie, Senior Investment Director of Alibaba Group.

The company also announced that it has entered into a partnership with Banma Technologies to build new AR navigation and infotainment systems.

Banma Technologies is an independent startup invested by Alibaba Group and China’s largest automaker SAIC Motor, dedicated to facilitating development in internet-connected cars.

AR navigation, usually used in self-driving cars, improves safety as the warnings and traffic data are placed right on the windshield for riders. Moreover, AR systems will enhance entertainment and communication within the car.

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