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Honda, Alibaba to jointly develop connected cars for online services

Honda Motor Co. President Takahiro Hachigo (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it will jointly develop connected cars with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to offer online services to drivers.

    Japan's third-largest automaker by volume and the Chinese e-commerce giant will aim to launch online payments for fuel, parking and other services in China through the jointly developed cars.

    Global automakers are focusing on connected cars with internet access to provide drivers with online settlement, shared traffic information and other advanced services.

    Honda is hoping to attract more customers in China, the world's biggest auto market, through the tie-up.

    Among other similar joint operations, the Japanese carmaker and SoftBank Group Corp. said in November that they plan to develop connected cars that would provide drivers with a wide range of information, including about traffic conditions and nearby accidents.

    The two Japanese companies aim to strengthen connected car technology by adopting speedier 5G next-generation mobile communications.

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