Huawei Develops Smart Roads that Talk to Driverless Cars
According to Bloomberg, Shenzhen-based Telecom-equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. and partners is using a site in the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu province as a part of China’s first national project for intelligent vehicles. The country aims to make traffic smoother and safer with this, while also benefiting companies like Huawei as they could then supply the required infrastructure.
“Autonomous driving is an irresistible trend, but any isolated vehicle alone can’t nail it,” Jiang Wangcheng, a president at Huawei’s information and communications technology business, said in an interview to Bloomberg. “The only solution is to get more information from the roads.”
The company is using a bus codenamed X-Bus, which is linked to a transportation-control network that sees and decides everything that happens on the test road. The communication occurs in two-ways: the bus constantly sends information to the network and can make requests such as favorable traffic lights to help it stay on schedule. Though the bus is largely autonomous, a human safety driver sits behind the wheel and is ready to take control if needed.
According to the business website, after facing global pressure for being designated as a threat to U.S. national security, Huawei is now targeting new growth areas such as transport. Surprisingly, instead of manufacturing a smart car of its own, Huawei plans to provide the communications equipment and software required for an intelligent-vehicle revolution.
In China, autonomous cars are not new. Search-engine giant Baidu Inc. has already landed autonomous cars on the roads of Beijing suburbs. Chip startups such as Horizon Robotics and Shanghai Westwell Lab Information Technology Co. are testing auto-driving technologies with the help of AI processors and algorithms.
China is the world’s biggest car market currently and according to a national technology roadmap laid out in November, they want smart vehicles with at least some automation to account for more than 50% of new auto sales by 2025. The plan also aims to develop smart infrastructure that allows vehicles to the internet and with each other.
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