The Luokung Technology Corp. (Nasdaq:LKCO) affiliate eMapgo has forged a relationship with Microsoft that will likely play a vital role in the future of autonomous driving in China.
eMapgo is one of China's top map providers and an operating affiliate of leading spatial-temporal intelligent big data services company Luokung. Luokung announced Sept. 16 that eMapgo signed a cooperation agreement with Microsoft to provide auto manufacturers with various services including the collection, storage, analysis, management and simulation testing of autonomous driving data. Luokung said in a press release that eMapgo and Microsoft will pair their strengths to address the market opportunities for autonomous driving in China and create an automobile industry solution designed for the Chinese market. eMapGo said it's honored to join Microsoft's automotive ecosystem, and looks forward to using Microsoft's high-performance, high-reliability, and high-concurrency leading technical service capabilities in the future.
eMapgo's customers primarily consist of auto manufacturers. It has approximately 24% of China's in-dash navigation market share, and it's actively developing autonomous driving and HD Map services. eMapgo was one of the first entrants into its market and it has amassed a large portfolio of experience with over nine million kilometers of geographic data, data for more than 80 million Points of Interest and more than 30 million vehicle regulations, as well as established relationships with automakers in China. Though eMapgo is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Luokung after the company acquired it in March, eMapgo maintains its independent brand and operations. Through this acquisition, Luokung is combining eMapgo's comprehensive data and high definition map services with its advanced spatial-temporal big-data processing capabilities, giving Luokung a "clear competitive advantage" in various sectors including autonomous driving, intelligent transportation, location-based services, remote sensory imaging, smart cities and more.
eMapgo was also invited to participate in the 2021 Microsoft Inspire China Conference in August, where eMapGo's vice president shared four key thoughts on the current state and evolution of the automotive industry. The Microsoft Inspire China Conference brings together Microsoft partners, employees and industry experts to showcase new developments, technologies, products, and solutions with the goal of "digital transformation, nurturing inspiration and promoting innovation." As a strategic partner of Microsoft, map provider eMapgo was invited to participate and share its ideas on changes in the automotive industry. At the conference, eMapGo Vice President Yang Cheng delivered a keynote speech detailing four key points to consider when looking at the future of automotives.
"We are currently undergoing the fourth major revolution in the automotive industry," Yang said. "New energy cars, smart cars and other changes are coming. In essence, it can be regarded as the application of software."
As the industry evolves, Yang presented these four thoughts on the changes and trends in automotives:
1. Software empowers cars, data empowers software, and the development of the autonomous driving industry requires big data to lay the foundation.
"In a sense, data is becoming crucial," Yang said, pointing out the necessity of data for AI model training, algorithm optimization and customization among other aspects of car development. "These all show that big data is driven from beginning to end. It runs from the research and development of the car to the whole life cycle of the car."
2. In the era of autonomous driving, the entire industry chain is not only a traditional multi-tier supplier model, but it also requires the cooperation of many players in the industry chain to better respond to increasingly complex automotive ecosystems.
The importance of cooperation is especially relevant today as supply chain issues continue to plague the industry and manufacturers struggle to acquire semiconductors and other essential parts.
3. Core service capabilities of map manufacturers: Only by providing users with the freshest and most accurate maps can they better serve the autonomous driving industry.
eMapgo's track record reflects this point as it has shifted focus in recent years to providing high-precision maps, high-precision positioning, simulation testing, and other services related to autonomous driving for various international automobile manufacturers
4. Autonomous driving projects launched in China are different from other countries. they need to be modified and adjusted according to local conditions and requirements.
Microsoft has achieved great success in the global automotive industry, and many well-known international manufacturers have adopted its products and services, but some solutions need to comply with Chinese laws when they're launched in China, and they must be localized.
Luokung said that through the relationship between eMapgo and Microsoft, both companies will contribute to building up the Chinese autonomous driving market, and the company also said that eMapgo has already obtained contracts from a European car manufacturer and a U.S. manufacturer, both of which are expected to be implemented in the coming months.
"As the demand for flexible computing continues to expand, China's autonomous driving data service market shows significant room for growth," Luokung chairman and CEO Xuesong Song said. "We are pleased to deepen our existing relationship with Microsoft in this effort to promote the development of safe and intelligent autonomous driving in China."