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China Daily / 2020-09 / 16 / Page006

Helping drive smart-travel solutions

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-16 00:00

Information and communication technology company Huawei is poised to expand cooperation with automakers, in a bid to power growth in the automobile industry with its smart-travel solution HiCar, according to executives at the company.

Yu Chengdong, executive director of Huawei and CEO of the company's consumer business group, said at the annual Huawei Developer Conference last week that more than 150 models from over 20 automakers have been equipped with HiCar apps.

The company's goal is to have more than 5 million vehicles equipped with HiCar in 2021, Yu said.

HiCar can connect mobile devices with vehicles, extend the service reach of apps installed on smartphones to cars and thus provide human-car-home smart travel experiences, said a company statement.

As intelligent travel is becoming a trend in the automobile industry, related software is increasingly turning out to be one of the key factors that influence an automaker's competitiveness.

Other tech companies including Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have made forays into the field using their expertise.

However, Huawei has adopted a different approach.

"In the eyes of Huawei, everything is like a smartphone, so a car would be a phone on wheels," Wang Chenglu, president of software department, consumer business group at Huawei, told media during the conference.

Instead of trying to move the apps in a smartphone to an in-car system, a Huawei smartphone using HarmonyOS operating system will take the car as different modules, so all the apps that seem to be running in the in-car system are actually running in the phone-they are just shown on the car's screen. For the phone, it has another screen and modules to make use of, Wang explained.

Huawei has added research and development, production, sales and services of auto components and intelligent systems to its businesses, CPN news portal reported.

The company founded a new business unit dedicated to working on smart travel solutions for auto manufacturers in June 2019.

Wang Jun, head of the new department, released the in-car version of HarmonyOS, the company's signature computer operating system, at the 2020 China Auto Forum held in Shanghai in mid-August.

On Sept 8, Huawei founded a wholly-controlled subsidiary with registered capital of 250 million yuan ($36.85 million), focused on the R&D of intelligent in-car systems.

Huawei has a series of patented technologies related to intelligent travel, including autonomous driving and an in-car charging method.

The company's executives have stated previously that Huawei will not make cars themselves, but will instead focus on ICT to assist automakers in the production of better cars.

Since it entered the field, Huawei has capitalized on its advantages in software to build an open system incorporating more developers, and promoted the healthy growth of the industry, according to a company statement.




A concept car equipped with Huawei's HiCar apps attracts visitors' attention. It was displayed at a Huawei showroom in Shanghai in late June. CHINA DAILY



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