Huawei joins the heated driverless car race via the Internet of Vehicles

The long list of IT and automobile companies creating driverless cars now has a new name added to it.

Huawei, a leading Chinese smartphone maker, is using 5G technology to do field testing of autonomous driving, Qiu Heng, President of Huawei Wireless Network Marketing Operations, announced on Monday at the company’s media briefing in Beijing.

“Things connected to the internet will reach 100 billion by 2025. That will bring significant opportunity to all industries,” said Xu Wenwei, Executive Director and President of the company’s Strategy Marketing Department.

The smartphone company is testing driverless cars driving in formation, and the use of remote controlled brake pedals connected using 5G, according to Qiu. A braking action of the driverless car in the front will trigger the same in the car behind it.

Qiu Heng spoke about Huawei’s driverless car technology. Photo from Chinese news outlet National Business Daily.
Qiu Heng spoke about Huawei’s driverless car technology. Photo from Chinese news outlet National Business Daily.

The driverless car race has heated up over the past few years, as tech giants and automobile companies joined the game one after another, poaching each other’s executives, vying to get ahead.

IT companies like Apple, Google, and Uber are looking to cash in on driverless cars, while traditional car companies including Audi, BMW, and Daimler are also pouring money into research.

Huawei hopes to pull ahead in the race, using the Internet of Vehicles technology as its main strength.

Huawei is well established in wireless solutions and electronics, dominating many areas of the supply chain. It launched wireless GSM-based solutions as early as 1997. In 2003, it set up its phone business branch, making products for consumers.

So far the tech giant Baidu leads the driverless car race in China. In December 2015, its cars completed their first test drive on a route with mixed road conditions. In August 2016, the company prepared its driverless cars for what was effectively a virtual driver’s license test. In June 2016, the company said that it is planning to mass produce driverless cars within 5 years, the Wall Street Journal reported.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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