Huawei Technologies from China has inquired with Mercedes Benz and Audi (part of Volkswagen) about the possibility of them purchasing small ownership shares in its company that focuses on smart car software and components. This information comes from three individuals who are aware of the ongoing talks.

Huawei’s intention in approaching Mercedes Benz and Audi is to broaden its collaborations beyond Chinese brands. This strategic move is particularly motivated by the desire to safeguard its business from the impact of U.S. sanctions imposed since 2019.

Smart Car Software Deal

Additionally, Huawei aims to mitigate potential geopolitical tensions by involving foreign investors, as shared by one of the sources familiar with the situation.

What is Smart Car Software

Smart car software refers to the specialized programs and applications that control and manage various functions in modern automobiles, commonly known as smart or connected cars. This software is designed to enhance the vehicle’s capabilities, safety, and overall user experience through the integration of advanced technologies.

Key components of smart car software include:

  • Infotainment Systems: Software that controls in-car entertainment features such as touchscreens, navigation systems, music players, and connectivity to smartphones.
  • Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS): Software responsible for features like lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, and other safety-related functions.
  • Connectivity Software: Enables the car to connect to the internet, facilitating real-time updates, remote control features, and access to cloud-based services.
  • Autonomous Driving Software: Powers self-driving capabilities by processing data from various sensors and making decisions to control the vehicle’s movements.
  • Diagnostic and Maintenance Software: Monitors the vehicle’s health, provides diagnostic information, and alerts the driver or service center about potential issues.

Smart car software relies heavily on technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and sophisticated algorithms to process data from sensors, cameras, and other sources. The goal is to create a seamless and intelligent driving experience while improving safety, efficiency, and convenience for the vehicle’s occupants.

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Huawei Eyes Mercedes Stake in $35 Billion Smart Car Spinoff

Chinese tech giant Huawei is set to spin off its Intelligent Automotive Solution (IAS) business unit, aiming to establish dominance in supplying smart car software and components for electric vehicles (EVs). The unit is estimated to be valued between $28 billion and $35 billion.

Smart Car Software Deal

In recent weeks, Huawei initiated talks with Mercedes, offering the German automaker a 3% to 5% stake, with the exact valuation to be negotiated. Mercedes has reportedly shown limited interest in Huawei’s proposal, expressing a preference to maintain control over its software to uphold its premium brand image rather than outsourcing it to an external supplier, according to a source.

The extent of Audi’s interest in Huawei’s offer is not immediately clear. Two sources reveal that Audi and Huawei are contemplating a collaboration to develop autonomous driving technologies for Audi. These technologies are anticipated to be incorporated into vehicles slated for the Chinese market starting in 2025.

The manufacturing of these vehicles is expected to be carried out through Audi’s partnership with FAW Group, a Chinese automaker. The sources providing this information have chosen to remain anonymous due to the confidential nature of the discussions.

Huawei’s Stake Offer to Mercedes and Audi Shrouded in Silence

Mercedes refrained from commenting, dismissing it as speculation, while Audi also declined to make a statement. Huawei, too, did not respond to requests for comments. This move by Huawei aligns with a trend where global automakers in China are increasingly seeking partnerships with local companies that lead in developing advanced features for tech-savvy Chinese consumers.

Volkswagen, for instance, collaborates with Xpeng and Horizon Robotics for China-specific intelligent and connected electric cars. Audi, on the other hand, has teamed up with SAIC Motor to venture into EVs in a segment previously unexplored in the Chinese market.

In April, Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s smart car business, acknowledged at a forum that European, U.S., and Japanese companies faced challenges in selecting Huawei as their primary provider of intelligent solutions. He attributed this difficulty to the impact of U.S. sanctions, stating,

“Therefore it’s a huge challenge because we have invested tremendously.”

Huawei Broadens Smart Car Reach through Various Partnerships

While prominent Chinese EV manufacturers like Nio and BYD develop their software, Huawei has chosen collaboration, partnering with both smaller electric car makers such as Seres Group and established automakers like Chongqing Changan Automobile.

Changan Auto is set to be a significant investor, potentially owning up to 40% of Huawei’s smart car business after the spinoff. Huawei has also extended invitations to Seres, Chery Automobile, Jianghuai Automobile Group, and BAIC Motor for investment, with hopes that FAW Group may join. Dongfeng Motor is reportedly another potential investor in the firm.

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In Conclusion

Huawei has reached out to Audi and Mercedes, suggesting the possibility of them investing in its smart car software, according to insider sources. The Chinese tech giant aims to broaden its collaborations beyond domestic brands.

However, Mercedes seems less enthusiastic about the proposal, preferring to retain control over its software to maintain its premium brand image. On the other hand, Audi’s level of interest remains unclear.

Huawei’s move to engage with Audi and Mercedes for potential investments in smart car software reflects its strategic push to expand partnerships globally. The outcomes of these discussions will likely impact Huawei’s position in the ever-evolving landscape of smart car technology. Source: US News

FAQs

What Technology Is Used in Smart Cars?

Smart cars incorporate cutting-edge technologies, including sensors, connectivity features, and robust computing capabilities. These vehicles are equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), enabling improved safety and navigation.

They also boast internet connectivity, allowing communication with other vehicles and external networks. Additionally, smart cars feature advanced infotainment systems that include touchscreens, voice recognition, and seamless integration with smartphones.

What is the Disadvantage of a Smart Car?

One disadvantage of smart cars is their compact size, which, while advantageous in some situations, can also pose limitations. Notably, the small dimensions mean that these vehicles are generally designed for only one passenger, making them impractical for group travel.

While the size can be an advantage for maneuverability and parking in crowded spaces, it may be a drawback when the need arises for accommodating more than one person in the vehicle.

Which Sensor is Used in Smart Cars?

Smart cars utilize various sensors for different purposes. One common sensor is the radar sensor, which employs radio waves to detect objects and their movement. Radar sensors excel in detecting objects at greater distances, making them particularly valuable for identifying obstacles beyond the reach of cameras and lidar sensors.

Another widely used sensor in smart cars is the camera. Cameras are well known for their versatility and are commonly employed in self-driving cars. They capture visual information, contributing to functions like object recognition, lane-keeping, and other visual-based features crucial for autonomous and advanced driver-assistance systems.

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How is AI Used in Smart Cars?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a crucial role in the functioning of smart cars, particularly in the realm of autonomous vehicles. These cars leverage extensive datasets encompassing information about road layouts, geographical locations, traffic conditions, vehicle performance, and even the preferences and behaviors of riders.

The integration of AI enables the analysis and utilization of this vast dataset. By employing AI algorithms, smart cars can process and interpret the collected data, transforming it into actionable insights. This enables the vehicles to make informed decisions autonomously, such as adapting to changing traffic conditions, navigating through complex road layouts, and responding to rider preferences.

In essence, AI empowers smart cars to operate efficiently and safely by harnessing the wealth of information available to them.

Does Smart Cars have Bluetooth?

Yes, the 2014 Smart ForTwo is equipped with Bluetooth technology. This feature allows users to connect their mobile devices, such as smartphones, to the car’s audio system wirelessly. With Bluetooth functionality, drivers can make hands-free calls, stream music, and use other compatible features without the need for physical connections.

In the context of the mentioned car description, the inclusion of Bluetooth is highlighted as one of the features alongside other amenities like air conditioning, a touch screen with Sat Nav, and multimedia options.

Does a Smart Car have an App?

The Hello smart App provides comprehensive, up-to-the-minute details about your vehicle, including range, battery status, location, and tire pressure. This app enhances your connection to your car, allowing you to stay informed about its status from anywhere.

What is the Top Speed of a Smart Car?

The Smart Fortwo, a gas-powered Smart Car model, has a top speed of approximately 96 miles per hour (mph). While this speed may not seem exceptionally high, it’s noteworthy when considering the compact size and lightweight design of the car.

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