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Image: BYD

BYD has launched an open-source platform it calls ‘D++’ and a ‘developer version’ of its Qin Pro, claimed to be the world’s first autonomous car open to third-party developers. It announced these at its worldwide developer conference in Shenzhen, China, attended by representatives from companies including Baidu, Horizon and Roadstar.ai.

Wang Chuanfu, BYD president and chairman, said at the conference: “Like the development of smartphones, which shifted from closed to open systems, this is also the only way for the car to become ‘smarter’. As we are embracing this new wave of intelligence, I’m proud to announce BYD’s strategy is now ‘open’.

“In the future, travel will only comprise 1pc of smart cars, and the remaining 99pc is open to the human imagination,” Wang added. “BYD will fully open 341 sensors and 66 controls on the car for developers, providing a much broader creative platform, which is bound to produce an immeasurable application ecology. We are doing for the car what Android did for the mobile phone.”

The D++ platform is part of BYD’s larger DiLink system, which combines mobile internet with user insights, AI, voice recognition, car networking and big data. It uses self-learning to pick up passengers at pre-set times, for example, customize in-car entertainment, and to communicate with occupants. The Qin Pro [pictured] will be available with the remotely-upgradable BYD Eco Open Platform later this month.

-Farah Alkhalisi