Huawei has gained a strong partner for the development of intelligent connected vehicles. The information and communications technology company signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic cooperation with the German automobile manufacturer Audi in Berlin today.
Digitalization is transforming every vertical sector in the Middle East, and the automotive industry is no exception. Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) from 5G to IoT are giving rise to cars that are intelligent and connected, and in the future could eliminate the need for a human driver altogether. The UAE is leading the race to deploy these technologies, and the country is in position to become a worldwide pioneer in the launch of autonomous vehicles.
In 2017, the Dubai Future Foundation announced the ‘Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy' which calls for 25 percent of total transportation in Dubai to be in autonomous mode by 2030, thereby saving an estimated AED 22 billion in annual economic costs.
"We are entering a new era of intelligent vehicle that will see the emergence of new technological synergies between information and communications technology and the automotive industries," commented Veni Shone, President of LTE Solution, Huawei, adding: "With increased innovation in mobile connectivity, Huawei is committed to transforming the driving experience."
Intelligent connected vehicles allow relevant information to be exchanged with the surrounding environment. To achieve this, cars need a high-quality, stable data connection. The expansion of this communication requires intensive research and development. The cooperation between Huawei and Audi is also intended to facilitate the ongoing advancement of intelligent driving and the digitalization of services in the vehicle environment. To this end, the parties have additionally agreed to jointly develop training programs in order to strengthen the skills of technology experts in both of these areas.
"We are intensifying our joint research with Huawei in the area of intelligent connected vehicles," explained Saad Metz, Executive Vice President of Audi China, adding: "Our aim is to improve safety and optimize traffic flows in order to create intelligent cities. The concepts will initially be concentrated on the Chinese market."
Working in cooperation with Huawei and the Chinese authorities, Audi became the first foreign automobile manufacturer to participate in the first-time deployment of "LTE-V" on public roads in the megacity of Wuxi in eastern China in 2017. "LTE-V" is a mobile communication standard, which is specially tailored for connected cars. Drivers were provided with real-time traffic information via connections to traffic light systems and video monitoring at intersections.
In September 2018, the project will enter its next phase at the "World Internet of Things Exposition" in Wuxi with an even broader range of applications.
Before the signing of this MoU, Huawei and Audi have cooperated in many areas related to intelligent connected vehicles in recent years. The two companies initiated the telecom-vehicle cross industry organization 5GAA and have held several joint demos/trials in various countries including Germany, Spain and China, ensuring the vibrant growth of the intelligent connected vehicles.