Huawei Technologies Co. is partnering with three major Chinese carmakers – Beijing-backed BAIC Group, state-owned Changan Automobile, and Guangzhou Automobile – in developing self-driving technology. Jun Wang, President of Huawei’s automotive unit said the goal is to launch fully driverless passenger cars in 2025.
In wake of the Trump administration’s sanctions to cut off vital supply chains to Huawei, the telecom giant has been forced to sell its smartphone brand, Honor, end of last year to“ensure the company’s survival.”
Huawei also dove into launching its own organic operating system, HarmonyOS(or HongmengOS) as well as developing its own autonomous driving technology. At the China Automotive Blue Book Forum, Jun Wang said autonomous driving is the sole revolutionary technology and hopes to transform cars into smart moving objects.
Huawei dismissed rumors about the tech giant manufacturing its own vehicles, reiterating that Huawei’s position is to provide its accrued expertise in IC technologies and to work closely with carmakers to assist in building their sub-brands. In the future, Huawei will license these jointly developed vehicles to carry a“HI” mark which stands for“Huawei inside.”
Earlier in mid-April, Huawei and BAIC unveiled the first smart electric car, ArcFox αs HI, in Auto Shanghai 2021, being the first model to bear the Huawei HI mark, featuring a complete intelligent automotive solution developed by Huawei.
The vehicle is equipped with Huawei’s own smart car system HarmonyOS and supports level 3 autonomous driving. According to Huawei’s rotating Chairman Xu Zhijun, the R&D team claims the prototype is able to cover 1000 km of complex urban environments without needing any manual intervention.
Huawei also announced to invest US$1 billion to develop electric vehicle and autonomous driving technologies to rival US-based Tesla and China-based Xiaomi.
HarmonyOS and self-developed autonomous driving chipsets are crucial in realizing the next-generation driverless car. Huawei is especially focusing on autonomous vehicle technologies in 5G communication, radar sensors, as well as batteries, motors, and controllers that make up the EV power systems.
The new level 4 autonomous driving vehicle that Huawei had jointly built with Guangzhou Automobile will enter volume production in 2024.