A car being used on the OnTime platform is seen in Guangzhou. [Photo: Monica Liu]
Newly launched platform to support sharing transportation ecosystem
A new mobile transportation platform was launched on Wednesday in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, to provide more customer-oriented and energy-saving services.
The innovative platform, OnTime, was jointly founded with an investment of 1 billion yuan ($145.4 million) by GAC Group, a Guangzhou-based automobile company, technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, Guangzhou Public Transport Group and other investors, with the GAC Group being the largest investor in the venture.
"The newly launched service is part of GAC's efforts to building a smart mobile and sharing transportation ecosystem," said Zeng Qinghong, chairman of the GAC Group.
The OnTime platform system will later be integrated into GAC Group's automobile-processing system, the chairman said.
"Sharing of the data from both platforms will help us increase the efficiency of research and manufacturing of customer-oriented vehicles. For example, we will develop customized cars with more tailored services in shaping, interior design, safety, a smart system, entertainment and social interaction," said Zeng.
The service will be later expanded to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and nationwide, the official added.
Cars being used on the OnTime platform are all developed by the GAC Group, including its new energy vehicle models GE3 530, Aion S and GAC Toyota's Levin.
"The new service heralds the broader industry trend where we see the progressive integration between the evolution of the automobile industry and the new technology revolution," Zeng said.
Pony Ma, chairman and CEO of Tencent, said the company will work more closely with traditional manufacturing companies such as GAC Group to accelerate the integration of manufacturing and technology.
"The future of transportation is no longer simply driving or taking a ride. We are working with related partners to offer more smart, entertainment and working space services for drivers and passengers," said Ma.
He said Tencent will provide cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mapping and unmanned driving services on the OnTime platform.
Separately, GAC Group signed a framework agreement with Didi Chuxing on Wednesday to expand their partnership on ride-hailing operations, fleet management, autonomous driving and other areas of smart automobile technology.
Both sides will share expertise and explore innovative models for integrated auto services and solutions, including marketing, after-sales services, smart recharging, refueling, car-sharing and auto-financing services.
"GAC Group is an important partner in the Didi auto alliance. The agreement is an extension of our long-term collaboration," said Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi, adding the company is committed to building an open, inclusive, mutually beneficial mobile ecosystem.