HUAWEI has today announced plans to invest $1 billion for research in the domain of electric vehicles, self-driving cars, and connected vehicles. HUAWEI chairman Eric Xu has revealed that the company is joining hands with three brands – BAIC Group, Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. – for the launch of co-branded self-driving cars.
– Eric Xu via Bloomberg.
Notably, Xu mentioned that HUAWEI’s self-driving technology can allow a vehicle to cover a distance of up to 1,000 kilometers without any human assistance. This is on par of with Tesla’s own fully self-driving technology, which is currently being tested as a beta. Tesla has not revealed a ‘maximum self-driving distance without human intervention’ number, but earlier this year in January, a YouTuber posted a video of his journey in a Tesla car, covering 350+ miles with almost no human intervention at all. Reports suggest that rival Apple also an EV car in the pipeline that will be fully autonomous.
The rotating HUAWEI chairman mentioned that delving into a rapidly growing EV and smart car segment will not only provide HUAWEI an early lead, but will also serve as a medium for the company to ensure that it survives the stringent trade sanctions imposed by the US government. To recall, HUAWEI has been reeling from trade sanctions that have crippled its supply chain – especially when it comes to semiconductors – and has adversely affected its smartphone business, both in the international as well as domestic markets.
HUAWEI already has partnerships with automobile giants such as Mercedes for supplying connected smart car solutions. Back in May last year. HUAWEI entered an alliance with 18 companies to boost the development of 5G-connected cars. Back in July last year, Chinese automaker BYD revealed the world’s first car powered by HUAWEI’s HiCar system based HarmonyOS. And earlier this month, ArcFox launched its own electric car based on HUAWEI’s platform with Harmony OS as the foundation, and 5G connectivity as well.