With the vendor’s smartphone business suffering as a result of US sanctions, emerging technologies in the automotive sector could prove fruitful

Huawei has been diversifying into the automotive market for some time now. Over the past year, the vendor has made partnerships with various industry players, such as BAIC Group, Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., focussing on developing self-driving technology.

Back in April of this year, the vendor announced that it was investing $1 billion into research and development for the technology. It also announced that it was now selling smart vehicles in its flagship stores across China, in the form of the Seres SF5 that it has co-developed with manufacturer Cyrus.

Now, however, the true scope of Huawei’s goals for automotive technology have become clear, with a senior executive suggesting they will achieve autonomous driving within four years.

"Our team’s goal is to reach true driverless passenger cars in 2025," said Wang Jun, a senior executive at Huawei’s smart vehicle unit.

Huawei, it should be remembered, is not the only large tech player looking to broaden their horizons in the connected car ecosystem. China’s domestic smartphone rival, Xiaomi, said back in March that it had struck a new with Great Wall Motor Co, China’s largest SUV and pickup manufacturer, that will see it invest around $1.52 billion to create electric vehicles. This investment is expected to increase to $10 billion over the coming decade. 

Meanwhile, Apple has been chasing the automotive market for many years with its so-called Project Titan, which it first announced back in 2014. While this Project has had its fair share of problems over the past seven years, the company did confirm back in December that it still had plans to release its own vehicle in three to six years. In 2017, Tim Cook himself said that the company had been “focussing on autonomous systems”.


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