Huawei works with car makers to develop self-driving cars: report
Chinese vendor Huawei is reportedly developing self-driving cars in partnership with a number of automobile manufacturers, the Financial Times reported.
According to the report, the Chinese tech giant is providing artificial intelligence (AI) software to Volkswagen’s Audi and a joint venture between Japan’s Toyota and China’s GAC Group.
Two other Chinese firms, Beijing New Energy Automobile and Changan Automobile, are also collaborating with the company, the newspaper reported.
Dang Wenshuan, Huawei’s chief strategy architect, reportedly said that Huawei and its partners are working to build a car that can be shipped as early as 2021. He said the car would be available in China as well as Europe.
Industry standards for self-driving vehicles identify the levels of autonomy an automobile is able to reach. According to the report, Huawei and its partners aim to ship Level 4 self-driving cars, which is the second-highest standard.
Dang also said that China will be at the forefront of the global autonomous cars market in 2021 or 2022 due to the size of its market.
He also said that Chinese automobile markets are moving rapidly toward the launch of commercial autonomous vehicles.
Chinese internet firms including Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are currently working to develop self-driving vehicles with several partners.
Last year, car maker Volvo had signed a deal with Chinese internet search provider Baidu to jointly develop electric and fully autonomous cars for the Chinese market.
Volvo, a subsidiary of Chinese automotive company Geely, and Baidu said they will “pool resources to take the next step and prepare” for mass manufacturing of fully electric and autonomous cars.
Under the terms of this agreement, Baidu will contribute its Apollo autonomous driving platform. Volvo will provide expertise and advanced technologies from the car industry. Both will sell the vehicles to Chinese customers.
According to a previous research from IHS Markit, China will become the single largest market for autonomous cars in the next decades, with around 14.5 million autonomous cars expected to be sold in China by 2040, out of a total global volume of 33 million.
The Chinese government is supporting these autonomous cars initiatives as part of the country’s push to gain leadership in the artificial intelligence field.