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A Chinese AI startup backed by Google just put out a smart rearview mirror

And the strategic investment starts to make more sense.

Mobvoi

Back in the fall, Google made a strategic investment in Mobvoi, a startup in Beijing that makes smartwatches and the smart voice interactive tech behind them.

Today, Mobvoi unfurled a suite of new stuff. Among that is Ticmirror, a car rearview mirror with voice control functions, and an accompanying autonomous driving system.

There's no release date for the mirror yet. But its arrival gives us another indication why Google — the company, not its investment arms — backed the startup that's putting artificial intelligence systems in things that Google likes, like self-driving cars.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai reiterated his interest in returning Google services to China soon at this week's Code Conference.

Rearview mirrors with interactive digital screens are a thing in China. Apparently there are some 200 companies working on them. Only one of them* is funded by Google.

* That we know of!

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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