Huawei Already Working on a New Self-Driving Car

Huawei is betting big on domestic car market investments 1 photo
Photo: Huawei
Tech giants are slowly but surely stepping into the car industry. While Apple wants to become a car brand and launch its very own model, others are just planning to work together with traditional automakers and only supply the software and service side of the project.
Huawei is one of the names embracing this approach, and after launching the first Huawei-powered model earlier this week in Shanghai, it looks like the Chinese firm is already working on the next model.

This time, the collaboration involves China’s GAC, with the project scheduled to see the daylight in 2024. GAC’s general manager Feng Xingya has reportedly confirmed on the sidelines of the Shanghai Auto Show that Huawei would be responsible for powering the autonomous driving capabilities of its next model, with the debut to happen in approximately three years.

Once again, it won’t be a Huawei-branded car, as it’d only feature the software and autonomous driving systems developed by the tech firm.

Huawei’s rotating chairman Eric Xu said that becoming a full carmaker is not part of his company’s long-term strategy during a recent analyst conference in Shenzhen.

Since 2012, I have personally engaged with the chairmen and CEOs of all major car OEMs in China as well as executives of German and Japanese automakers. During this process, I found that the automotive industry needs Huawei. It doesn’t need the Huawei brand, but instead, it needs our ICT [information and communication technology] expertise to help build future-oriented vehicles,” he was quoted as saying.

However, the bigger challenge for Huawei is to expand beyond the borders of China, especially given the legal trouble the company’s currently involved in. The United States government has banned Huawei from using software and hardware developed by American firms, including Android and Google services. That has caused a major struggle for Huawei in the phone market.

Whether or not Huawei finds a way to conquer the car market outside China remains to be seen, but investing in domestic partnerships seems to be the preferred strategy for the first steps in this new industry.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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