Huawei, the technology brand is known for its multiple innovations, especially in the field of telecommunication. However, Huawei is also working to provide the cars of the future, with connected and intelligent technology. Unlike many other tech companies who have forayed into making cars themselves, Huawei says they will remain technology provider, focusing on making the car of tomorrow. We got in touch with Standy Nie, President, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei India to understand the kind of technologies Huawei is working on and what new we can expect in the modern-day vehicles. Here’s our conversation –
Tell us about Huawei’s automotive business operations in India
Applying its 30 years of ICT experience to automobiles, Huawei established the Intelligent Automobile Solution BU to be able to work with industry partners to enable the transformation from traditional vehicles to intelligent, connected vehicles. Though Huawei will not build its own cars, its aims to help automakers build better cars.
Deeply integrated with ICT technologies such as AI, digital energy, and cloud services, the modern automotive industry is more electric and intelligent, and becoming a new engine for the development of an intelligent world. Today, Huawei is a supplier of new ICT components for intelligent connected vehicles and focuses on ICT technologies such as computing, operating system, network, and cloud.
The “Huawei Inside” (HI) initiative was subsequently launched in 2019 aiming to build digital architecture for premium intelligent vehicles, offering solutions like Intelligent Driving, Intelligent Cockpit, mPower, Intelligent Connectivity, and Intelligent Vehicle Cloud, and over 30 intelligent components.
Huawei’s technologies and capabilities have become more and more widely used in vehicles. Huawei believes that ICT capabilities will be of greater value to the technologies and components needed by future autonomous driving solutions and electric vehicles.
Tell us about the need for intelligent automotive solutions
It has become an industry-wide consensus that current trends indicate that future vehicles will be connected, autonomous, sharing, and electric (CASE) and that digital technology will play a dominant role in the development of vehicles.
- Electric: All autonomous vehicles will eventually be electric.
- Autonomous: Artificial intelligence will improve safety and travel efficiency.
- Connected: Vehicles will be continuously connected to the cloud, which will analyze data from the vehicles and their surrounding environments.
- Sharing: More people will share vehicles, improving vehicle utilization and transport efficiency. Instead of being mainly manufacturers, carmakers will become providers of scenario-based transport services.
Carbon neutrality has become a globally recognized mission. Many countries are racing to become carbon neutral. The transportation industry plays a key role in this process as it presents huge opportunities to conserve energy and cut emissions. This in turn makes the New Energy Vehicles industry very promising. Furthermore, decreasing prices also boost the demand for intelligent electric vehicles.
Future purchasing decision for car will also likely be based more on the intelligence level of vehicle cockpits and driving systems. Key differentiators for vehicles will change 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 – have even now become unique selling points for car OEMs.
In short, vehicles will no longer be just a tool for transport. Rather, their relationships with people and with their surroundings will change dramatically and advanced intelligent driving technology will free commuters to enjoy work, study, entertainment, and much more within their vehicles.
What is Huawei offering for the development of an intelligent vehicle?
Huawei offers a full-stack solution comprising of five intelligent systems covering intelligent driving, intelligent cockpit, intelligent communication connectivity, DriveONE, and intelligent vehicle cloud service. The systems include driving computing platform MDC, the advanced driving solution (ADS), and advanced intelligent sensing (AIS) to algorithms and functions, all aimed at giving users a safe, comfortable, personalized, and intelligent driving experience. Intelligent sensors are part of this system and Huawei provides three products: mmWave radar, lidar, and camera.
Huawei’s intelligent cockpit solutions enable cockpit hardware to be interconnected and software to be up-to-date, delivering a consistent experience across all scenarios so that users enjoy a better driving experience. The 5G and AI equipped intelligent communication connectivity solutions enable easy driving experience with digital car keys and vehicle-mounted fast charging solutions for devices.
At the same time there are also solutions for smart travel, which mainly includes Huawei Wallet, seamless navigation, and other solutions. The Huawei Wallet can hold all of the user’s cards, certificates, tickets, coupons, and keys, users only need to bring a Huawei phone or watch, which can take care of everything for them. Online car hailing information and order progress can also be sent to the watch, freeing users from frequent checks of the phone.
What are your views on the adoption of New Energy vehicles?
The global automotive industry is going electric far faster than expected. New energy vehicles (NEVs) have reached as high as 20% of monthly vehicle sales in China and Europe. The global automotive industry is going electric faster than expected. In fact, as per Allied Market Research, the global electric vehicle market is projected to reach US$823.75 billion by 2030. Again, with ambitious carbon neutrality goals set by Governments across the world, policies are becoming more favorable, creating new opportunities for electric and intelligent vehicles.
Global carmakers are rapidly expanding their presence in the NEV market. Per reports, Jaguar is expected to go fully electric by 2025, and other big players like Volvo, Bentley, BYD, and Geely have pledged to switch to fully electric vehicles by 2030. Volkswagen, BMW, and a few others expect half of their global sales to be fully electric by 2030.
How do you see the Indian auto market?
India has a very advanced automobile sector with almost all reputed brands having a presence in the country. Backed by a conducive policy environment and increasing focus on new energy vehicles and electric vehicles, this is an interesting and strategic market. For Huawei, we do not make vehicles, and rather our focus is on helping our auto sector OEMs across the globe, including India, to make more intelligent and better cars.
What new technologies will reshape the automotive market in future?
As car buyers veer towards vehicles providing an overall enhanced driving experience with intelligent features for better driving comfort, cost savings, and efficiency gains, the automotive sector is increasingly relying on new-age ICT technologies to meet these demands.
For instance, Huawei’s HI e-cockpit solution utilises its in-house computing platform and HarmonyOS for a rich user experience offering equipped with features such as the Augmented Reality Head-Up Display (AR-HUD) that turns the windshield into a 70-inch HD screen with 7.1 surround sound for movies, games, and video conferences.
E-cockpit features also include powerful visual recognition, semantic understanding, and AI technologies to deliver intelligent services by communicating with users in natural language and recognizing gestures and facial expressions.
The advent of 5G will provide ultra-low latency, ultra-high bandwidth, and reliability to the automotive industry. Tele-operated driving (TOD), high-density vehicle platooning, and quick and coordinated lane-change assistance will be the major 5G application scenarios for autonomous automobiles.
4D imaging radars will enable autonomous driving through its superior object detecting capability over a larger detection range, environment reconstruction, mapping, and localization, that will allow vehicles to enjoy a 360° surround view with full-coverage sensing of all objects in different scenarios under all weather conditions.
High-level autonomous driving functions like Traffic Jam Pilot, Highway Pilot, and Auto Valet Parking can all be realised with most powerful computing platforms for intelligent driving.