(Yicai Global) May 15 -- Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding will transfer its autonomous driving business to Cainiao Smart Logistics from its research institute Damo Academy, according to China Securities Journal.
“Alibaba adjusted its self-driving business to reduce costs and enhance Cainiao’s technical content,” Time Finance reported Zhang Xiaorong, president of the Deep Technology Research Institute, as saying.
Autonomous driving will probably be applied to Cainiao’s logistics and delivery business, often in closed environments, where the requirements for such technology are low and easy to achieve, but this scenario is not popular, said Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center at Zhejiang University’s International Business School.
The Damo Academy is the result of the merger of Cainiao ET Lab and Alibaba AI Lab in 2018. It launched low-speed unmanned logistics vehicle Xiaomanlv in 2020 and used it to deliver one million orders the following year. Wang Gang and Chen Junbo, the two people in charge of the project, both left the company.
Alibaba’s revenue from innovation businesses, including the digital speaker Tmall Genie and the Damo Academy, reached CNY823 million (USD118 million) in the fourth quarter of last year, down 20 percent from a year earlier, according to the Hangzhou-based company’s quarterly report.
In March, Alibaba launched its biggest organizational shakeup since it was founded 24 years ago. Under the restructuring, six new business groups were created: Taobao Tmall Commerce, Cloud Intelligence, Local Services, Cainiao Smart Logistics, Global Digital Commerce, and Digital Media and Entertainment.
Editor: Futura Costaglione