Microsoft China and innovative mobility company, Human Horizons, announced their strategic partnership to jointly develop an on-board AI assistant, HiPhiGo, for Human Horizons’ premium smart all-electric vehicles, HiPhi. HiPhi 1, the first product of the HiPhi brand, will reach small volume production by the end of 2020 and large-scale deliveries in 2021.

This announcement was made by Dr. Yongdong Wang, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, and Ding Lei, CEO and the founder of Human Horizons at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2020 Online Summit (WAIC 2020) held in Shanghai, China.

Combining AI-driven applications in a user-friendly manner is a challenge, which prompted a partnership with Microsoft to achieve Human Horizons ‘3 Smart’ strategic blueprint (Smart Vehicle, Smart Transportation, and Smart City).

The onboard AI assistant, HiPhiGo, will seek to enhance the connection between vehicles, cloud-based platforms, and user-centric services within the “vehicle-road-city” ecosystem. Microsoft was selected as a partner for its extensive technical expertise in computer voice and vision, natural language processing, and search engine database.

This includes Microsoft’s text to speech technology, based on deep neural networks, that is comparable to human speech. The application of such technologies will provide seamless and engaging human-machine interaction. The HiPhiGo AI assistant will also allow HiPhi to leverage mobility services across its entire portfolio, providing new services and solutions like in-car consumer experiences, telematics, and the ability to securely connect data between the car and its occupants.

AI will also play an important role in the development of new-generation information technology (IT), as deep integration of IT continues to converge with economic and social development.

“The strategic partnership with Microsoft will accelerate the development of our onboard digital AI assistant, HiPhiGo,” says Ding Lei, CEO and founder of Human Horizons and HiPhi.

As the next steps, Human Horizons and Microsoft are in discussion to establish a smart computing lab to further explore the integration of AI technologies for next-generation connected vehicles. Additionally, the two companies hope to further the collaboration and empower more customer-centric services of the brand.