‘Huawei offers automakers a full-stack solution’: Sarad Shrestha
Sarad Shrestha, Director, Sales, Huawei Telecommunications India Co. speaks to Autocar Professional about how the company is offering all-in-one solutions for the automotive industry in a new era.
Global giant in communications technology, Huawei is enabling the automotive industry’s shift to more intelligent, connected, and autonomous vehicles, with a whole host of information and communications technology (ICT) solutions that are empowering OEMs to develop smart vehicles for the future. The company is geared with its range of intelligent connectivity and cloud systems, and is helping automakers develop architectures for vehicles replete with connectivity and convenience features.
How are advanced technological solutions shaping the evolution of the automotive ecosystem?
The proliferation of digital technologies and ambitious global carbon neutrality goals are driving vehicles to become more electrified and intelligent. The consensus in the automotive industry highlights a trend towards a connected, autonomous, shared, and electrified (CASE) future, where digital technologies will play a dominant role in vehicle development as well as deployment.
Intelligent driving supported by information and communications technology (ICT) will change the way people interact with cars. Smart connectivity will make the vehicle a true 'third space' and provide a more enjoyable experience for users, enabling them to spend more time in the car. Furthermore, technology is increasingly making travel safer, more efficient, easier, and less costly, and by integrating people, vehicles, and home-like environments, carmakers aim to improve the in-vehicle user service ecosystem, provide intelligent services, and bring digital to every vehicle for a fully connected, intelligent world.
As a result, buyer decisions are also increasingly being based on the intelligent technologies inside the vehicle cockpit. As technology further advances, the key differentiators for two competing vehicles will change from mechanical specifications to intelligent functions such as intelligent driving systems and intelligent components such as high-performance computing platforms, Lidars, large displays, and multiple displays. With growing electrification, OEMs must use digital platforms to achieve faster vehicle development and improve efficiency at lower costs. They also need to enable rapid software iterations to ensure vehicle safety and reliability, and address other challenges
consumers may face.
What are the key differentiating factors setting apart Huawei’s automotive offerings from its competitors?
Huawei has been a key player in offering focused automotive solutions for many years now. With 30 years of ICT experience, we have established an intelligent automobile solution business unit, and strive for breakthrough development and technological leadership. Globally, Huawei helps automakers develop cars of the future, and we supply new ICT components such as computing, operating system, network, and the cloud for connected vehicles.
Huawei also works with automotive OEMs to help them develop their own sub-brands and smart vehicles. For instance, the ‘Huawei Inside’ (HI) initiative was launched in 2019 with an aim to build digital architecture for premium intelligent vehicles. The initiative offers solutions like Intelligent Driving, Intelligent Cockpit, mPower, Intelligent Connectivity, Intelligent Vehicle Cloud, and over 30 additional intelligent components required to build a smarter car. Therefore, along
with automakers, we jointly define and develop intelligent components and offer intelligent all-in-one solutions for the automotive industry which is increasingly making the shift towards sustainable mobility solutions.
What are some of Huawei’s latest automotive solutions around software-defined vehicles?
Huawei offers automakers a full-stack solution comprising five intelligent systems which cover driving, cockpit, communication connectivity, DriveONE, and vehicle cloud service. The systems include the advanced driving solution (ADS), driving computing platform MDC, and advanced intelligent sensing (AIS) algorithms and functions, which are all aimed at giving users a safe, comfortable, personalised, and intelligent driving experience. Intelligent sensors are also part of this system and Huawei provides three products: mmWave radar, Lidar, and camera.
Moreover, 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 an easy driving experience along 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 include Huawei Wallet, seamless navigation, and other convenience services. The Huawei Wallet can hold all 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 will the impact of ICT on the automotive industry be, and how will this shape the future of the sector?
In today’s digital and connected era, vehicle buyers look for a product that offers an enhanced driving experience, complemented with intelligent features that aid convenience. Therefore, to achieve these deliverables, the automotive sector relies heavily on new-age ICT technologies, which can help the industry to provide consumers with superior products and services.
ICT not only plays a supporting role but has become an integral part of products and almost the backbone of the industry. For example, Huawei's HI e-cockpit solution utilises its in-house computing platform and HarmonyOS for a rich user experience 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. Thus, as vehicles become increasingly electric, connected, and intelligent, ICT will be deeply integrated with the automotive industry, bringing huge opportunities. Going forward, there will be a huge involvement of advanced intelligent driving and ICT technologies in the automotive industry. The world will move away from using vehicles solely for transportation purposes, and the relationship between vehicles and people will change dramatically.
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.
How does Huawei aim to cater to the EV landscape both from a manufacturing as well as product technology perspective?
The global automotive industry is undergoing a rapid transition towards electric mobility, and to support this transformation, Huawei has invested heavily into the R&D of intelligent automotive components to offer sophisticated ICT technologies to automakers for the development of new-age smart vehicles. It is also focused on investing more into intelligent driving solutions that will help OEMs build better intelligent and eco-friendly vehicles.
Huawei integrates more than 30 years of experience in power electronics technologies in the ICT field and leading digital technologies such as Big Data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence into electric drive control, battery safety, and MCU/VCU/BMS fault prediction of electric vehicles. Therefore, the company strives to help OEMs build better cars and accelerate their EV development.
What roadmap do you see for autonomous driving technology in the global automotive landscape?
Over the past decade, the automotive industry has made great strides in connected cars and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV). Developments such as live traffic information, media ignition, remote ignition, vehicle tracking, and navigation services are becoming commonplace. But the biggest changes and challenges of connected cars are yet to come. According to industry consultancy S&P Global Mobility, worldwide sales of connected cars are expected to reach 72.5 million by 2023, from being pegged at 24 million vehicles in 2015. Therefore, the use of technologies such as ad-hoc mesh Wi-Fi and Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X), vehicles can be notified of traffic light changes, and can also communicate with other vehicles to better avoid collisions.
A prerequisite for the implementation of Level 3 autonomous vehicles is the promotion of AI applications in digital platform technologies that focus on machine learning and its subset deep learning. Advances in AI, especially deep learning, are propelling the automotive industry towards autonomous driving, giving new impetus to traditional industries. Huawei believes that with these advances, the industry will reach Levels 4 and 5 of autonomous driving technology, wherein computers will be able to successfully manage and drive vehicles and seamlessly connect them to their surroundings.
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