Huawei Making Moves In The Self-Driving Market

Major tech company Huawei is betting big on the automobile market with plans to hire “more than 5,000 engineers, with 2,000 specifically focused on anonymous driving.” An announcement made at the Shanghai Motor Show.

“A revolution in intelligent cars is looming, and Huawei will constantly conduct technological innovation to brighten the outlook for the sector.”
— Wang Jun, president of Huawei’s intelligent vehicle unit.

This year, the company will invest $1 billion in the space, marking a significant change for the phone/networking giant. How their vehicles fair with competition from the likes of Tesla is another question, but one they’ll surely take in stride.

Showcasing new technologies

Additionally, the company has also included details on its Huawei HI intelligent automotive solution. A solution like this could be implemented in all future vehicles developed by Huawei. The system consists of:

  • An optimised computing system
  • An autonomous-driving platform
  • 4D imaging radar
  • Intelligent thermal management

Huawei’s strengths lie in their intelligent network systems, something they acknowledge themselves by outlining their stance. Essentially, Huawei wants to be seen more as a tech supplier than an outright manufacturer.

Systems/tech offered by Huawei could prove quite the asset to electric car companies looking to implement 5G-connectivity within their vehicles. After all, Huawei’s ability to develop intelligent network systems has never been a cause for concern; it’s one of their finer attributes.

Electric car collaboration

A day before the launch event, Huawei announced it had partnered with BAIC Motor Corp to launch the ARCFOX Alpha S, a luxe electric car with full auto-driving capabilities.

Concept material for this smart car looks promising, giving drivers the ability to connect to Huawei’s Harmony OS system once inside. Moreover, the Alpha S can travel 197 kilometres from a 10-minute charge alone.

The Alpha S will come with full voice recognition; think Siri but bigger. It’s possible to use this feature without a network connection also. Another highlight is the 4K car screen which is pretty large, coming in at 20.3 inches.

This news might not surprise some, as Huawei had already announced collaborations with BAIC, Chongqing Changan Automobile, and Guangzhou Automobile. In other words, the company has various opportunities to bounce back in a different lane following the U.S. ban.

Competition in China

Analysts predict a significant shift in the Chinese auto market in general. In March, analysts at HSBC Qianhai predicted a 58% increase in electric cars, which is quite the leap.

Competition in China is heating up in the electric field with domestic companies like Baidu and Xiaomi also hoping to release electric vehicles in the not so distant future. Both are companies with no prior involvement in the electric car market.

All companies mentioned are taking chances by navigating uncharted waters and investing heavily as they go. Last month, Xiaomi announced that they would invest $10 billion over the next few years in electric vehicles.

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