Huawei is testing an advanced vehicle-to-infrastructure solution in Wuxi, China. The company is using an autonomous bus that exchanges data with smart sensors integrated into stoplights, street signs, and terrain. The firm believes connected roadways hold the key to launching fully self-directed personal and public transports.
The telecom began devoting its resources to developing new automotive products after encountering significant challenges in its smartphone business.
Huawei’s Smart Road Technology
In recent years, many corporations have tried to make vehicles that can operate independently using onboard sensors and high-performance processors. However, despite spending an estimated $16 billion on self-driving auto research, no firm has produced a fully machine-operated car.
Huawei is taking a different approach by making the roads smarter rather than the automobiles traveling on them.
In Wuxi, the conglomerate built a 2.5-mile testing area that is loaded with vehicle-to-infrastructure technology. The firm established a network of connected radar, camera, and sensor systems to gather information and exchange it with individual vehicles. Its test transport, codenamed X-Bus, can cruise, change speeds, avoid collisions, and make stops autonomously using its infrastructure system.
Huawei’s X-Bus can also ping its network when it needs help executing certain tasks. For example, the passenger vehicle can ask for more green lights on its route if it falls behind schedule. That said, its smart road system seems like it is still in early development as the mass transit vehicle has a human operator.
Still, the telecom’s smart road project is very intriguing, even if it will not be deployed at scale right away. China, the world’s largest automobile market, has led the planet in traffic fatalities since 1990. With that in mind, the company’s efforts to overhaul its local transportation infrastructure is laudable
Huawei’s Recent Other Automotive Projects
Over the last decade, Huawei made itself one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers. But that part of the firm’s business has suffered in the last few years amid mounting sanctions from the U.S. government. The conglomerate even lost access to the advanced semiconductors that power its cutting-edge handsets in 2020.
In response to mounting issues in its mobile device business, Huawei has expanded its presence in the automotive segment.
The corporation already had a foothold in the field via its HiCard mobile device connection service. It also partnered with a local provider, a division of the BIAC Group, on a self-driving car project. Their collaboratively developed autonomous vehicle stack is reportedly more advanced than the one in Tesla’s Model 3.
Despite that success, Huawei is not interested in launching its own branded smart personal transport. Instead, the firm wants to create new hardware and software that enables next-generation functionality in the fleets of established carmakers. The company is wise to utilize that model as it has no experience manufacturing automobiles but does know how to make high-performance electronic components.
Huawei’s X-Bus project confirms that it is taking a refreshing, out-of-the-box approach to vehicle autonomy. If its new initiative bears fruit, the company could emerge as a top-tier automotive industry supplier in short order.