The autonomous driving industry can witness the union of two major players. According to the German magazine Manager, Volkswagen is in talks with Huawei to buy Huawei’s newly established autonomous driving business for billions of euros.
Huawei and Volkswagen China, meanwhile, declined to comment.
Huawei’s autonomous division is part of the telecommunications and smartphone giant’s newest “smart car solution” enterprise segment, launched in 2019. He has consistently rejected any manufacturing aspirations, claiming that he aims to be a supplier of parts to China’s Bosch or carmakers.
Huawei, which is still based in Shenzhen, seems committed to the plan. Last year, Chinese carmaker BAIC demonstrated autonomous driving technology in a car mass-produced by electric car brand Arcfox. Huawei has provided a chipset for an electric car (EV) and an in-car operating system.
As a self-driving technology company, acquiring Huawei could help Volkswagen achieve its goal of creating futuristic cars. In September 2021, the German conglomerate merged with the Pittsburgh-based Argo AI startup, backed by Ford and Volkswagen, to develop a self-driving electric van.
Not surprisingly, Volkswagen is looking for a similar technology partner in China, which will be its largest market in the next few years. Baidu, a joint venture with several Chinese autonomous automakers Geely, and strong automakers such as Didi, a partner with BYD.
The head of Huawei Autonomous Vehicles has resigned
According to rumors, the acquisition is a turning point for Huawei’s Autonomous Car (AV) team. Su Jing, the former head of China’s autonomous driving project, left the company in January after making inappropriate comments about Tesla, accusing Huawei of “killing people” in fatal crashes of the autopilot system.
Su’s hatred of the robot axis is clear, and the next step is expected after Huawei’s resignation. He said in an interview last year:
Any company that sees robotics as its ultimate commercial goal is doomed. Those who can provide robotics will be those who work in cars. That Sunday will definitely be mine, but not yet.
Capturing Huawei’s autonomous driving business will not be cheap. The company’s smart car division plans to spend a total of $ 1 billion on research and development by 2021, and plans to develop a 5,000-strong R&D team with more than 2,000 autonomous drivers alone.
Given that Huawei has already invested heavily in smart driving and has a growing customer base, it remains a mystery how and why the technology giant will hand over such a business that looks promising and could take the brand to another level.