Huawei is a well-known technology giant that aims to build a fully connected and intelligent world. Headquartered in Guangdong (China), it is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. Now, with new-age vehicles becoming smarter and more connected than ever before, Huawei is aiming to bring a revolution in the automotive sector.
The company claims to have invested heavily in the R&D of intelligent automotive components to offer sophisticated ICT technologies to automakers for the development of smart vehicles. Huawei intends to help OEMs build new-age vehicles focusing on intelligent driving, e-cockpit, electrification, connectivity, and intelligent automobile cloud. To understand more about this tech giant’s plans, we interacted with Standy Nie, President, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei India.
Q) Could you elaborate on Huawei’s automotive business operations from a global as well as Indian perspective?
The automotive industry is poised for a transformation that it hasn’t seen in almost a century, witnessing a trend where vehicles are becoming increasingly electric, connected, and intelligent. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is being deeply integrated with the automotive industry, bringing huge opportunities. For Huawei, intelligent automotive components are an extension of its ICT infrastructure business wherein it applies 30 years of its ICT experience to the automobile industry. In 2021, its investment in intelligent automotive solutions reached $1 billion.
While Huawei does not aim to build its own cars, its focus is on the ICT aspect, aiming to become a provider of components for intelligent connected vehicles and help OEMs all across the world, including India. The ‘Huawei Inside’ (HI) initiative was launched in 2019 with an aim to build digital architecture for premium intelligent vehicles, offering solutions like intelligent driving, e-cockpit, mPower, intelligent connectivity, vehicle cloud, and over 30 additional intelligent components required to build a smarter car.
Q) As we are seeing a rise in demand for intelligent automotive vehicles? Also, tell us more about their need in current times?
The current industry trends imply that future vehicles will be governed by CASE i.e. they will be Connected (to cloud with their data continually analysed), Autonomous (powered by AI for enhanced safety and travel efficiency), Shared (vehicles will be shared amongst users leading to increased vehicle & transport efficiency), and Electric (wherein all autonomous vehicles will eventually be electric). The global automotive industry is transitioning to electrification far faster than expected, especially in China and Europe with as high as 20% of monthly vehicle sales.
Huawei estimates that the global NEV (new energy vehicles) market, especially in China, will further grow and EVs will account for more than half of global vehicle sales by 2030. Furthermore, the key differentiators for vehicles are changing from mechanical specifications to intelligent functions such as intelligent driving and intelligent cockpits. And intelligent components – such as high-performance computing platforms, lidars, large displays, and multiple displays are set to become unique selling points for car OEMs, the future purchase decision criteria.
Q) Shed some light on the solutions/technology Huawei offers for the development of an intelligent vehicle?
As a supplier of new components for intelligent connected vehicles, Huawei focuses on ICT technologies such as computing, operating system, network, and cloud. The company has developed five smart automotive solutions: intelligent driving, intelligent cockpit, intelligent communication connectivity, DriveONE, and intelligent vehicle cloud service. Advanced driving solutions (ADS and advanced intelligent sensing (AIS) are also offered for a safe, comfortable, and intelligent driving experience. This system includes intelligent sensors. Huawei offers Wave radar, lidar, and camera.
Q) What new technologies will reshape the Indian and global automotive market in the future?
As automobile users gravitate toward vehicles that provide a better overall driving experience, they will increasingly expect more intelligent features for improved driving comfort, cost savings, and efficiency advantages. ICT technologies will therefore play a key role in the automotive industry. In-car features include the Augmented Reality Head-Up Display (AR-HUD), which transforms the car’s windshield into a 70-inch HD screen with surround sound. E-cockpit features will have dynamic visual recognition, semantic comprehension, and AI technologies for performing intelligent services.
The introduction of 5G will give the automotive industry ultra-high bandwidth, ultra-low latency, and reliability which in turn will make a possible 5G-related application for autonomous vehicles like tele-operated driving (TOD), high-density vehicle platooning, and coordinated lane-change assistance. Autonomous driving will be further enabled through 4D imaging radars equipped with capabilities like superior object detecting capability over an extended range, environment reconstruction, mapping, and localization. The future will see a high level of autonomous driving functions like Traffic Jam Pilot, Auto Valet Parking, etc.
Q) Any significant business plans in the near future that Huawei would like to share with us?
As ICT is fused into the automotive industry at a faster pace, cross-industry collaboration becomes increasingly important. Huawei will continue to work with industry partners to focus on the development of new technologies and solutions to assist automakers and customers in having a more efficient and intelligent experience. The company is committed to developing innovative technologies by increasing its investment in R&D. Huawei aims to explore the full potential of new-age technology and provide intelligent solutions to every corner of the globe.