Beijing Based Tech Startup to Imitate Apple’s Success but in the Automobile Industry
Beijing based tech startup Zhiche Auto, is aiming to copy Apple’s Inc success with the iPhone but only in the Automobile industry. Founded in 2014 with only 80 people, Zhiche announced their plans to start a small scale production of self driving car by 2017. Favoring the asset light approach which also invited original equipment manufacturer in producing cars that are based on their own designs.
Although Apple isn’t into inventing much innovative hardware, but is into creatively assembling existing components which provides a brand new user experience, and this is the goal that Zhiche is trying to achieve with their cars. Zhiche’s ambition might be to high too achieve, but its far from reality as there is and increasing number of Chinese tech companies that made moves to disrupt the country’s automobile manufacturing industry by flooding the market with cash and expertise in big data, internet enabled technology and artificial intelligence.
Known for their smart TV’s LeEco Holdings released their first concept self driving electronic car just 28 months after the company decided to penetrate the industry. Chairman and founder for LeEco Jia Yueting said that it was difficult at first for an internet company, which was considered an outsider to invest in cars, but lead to an industrial revolution in the automobile manufacturing sector. Head for LeEco car development arm said that the company is creating vehicles that connect to the internet and to provide more services to drivers and its passengers as car will be the next platform after smartphones when it come to inter acting with the world. LeEco joint venture with Aston Martin in mid February was to develop the British luxury car brand first electric vehicle.
Meanwhile the three top internet giants Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group Holdings and Baidu Inc. are making moves into the auto industry by teaming with traditional car makers. Baidu is betting big on autonomous driving as it has already successfully completed the first road test on its self driving car. Despite future prospects, analysts are saying that the internet enabled self drving car industry is still developing and the technology is under development. Plus the lack of regulatory and legal framework represents a hurdle for further development.