Chinese Huawei develops ‘smart’ roads that speak to driverless cars

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Huawei is leading a pilot project for autonomous vehicle road networks in China.

On a four-kilometer (2.5-mile) road in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, an autonomous bus travels back and forth, stops, around obstacles, accelerates and decelerates, based on information that ‘he constantly receives from his environment. . Sensors, cameras and radars that communicate with the vehicle are built into the road, traffic lights, traffic signs and other infrastructure.

The site, used by telecommunications equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. and its partners, is part of China’s first national smart and connected vehicle project. The country wants to make traffic smoother and safer, while ensuring that local champions like Huawei benefit from the huge opportunity to provide the infrastructure.

“Autonomous driving is an irresistible trend, but not every single vehicle alone can be successful,” Jiang Wangcheng, president of Huawei’s information and communications technology division, said in an interview. “The only solution is to get more information about the routes.”

Codenamed X-Bus, the vehicle is linked to a transport control network that sees and decides everything that happens on the test route. Communication is two-way: the bus is constantly sending information to the network and can make requests such as favorable traffic lights to help it stay on schedule. Although the bus is largely self-sufficient, a human safety driver sits behind the wheel and is ready to take control if necessary.

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Shenzhen-based Huawei, whose core network business is facing global pressure after the United States named it a national security threat, is targeting new areas of growth such as transportation. Instead of building its own smart car – billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei and other executives have said it wasn’t the intention – Huawei wants to provide the communications equipment and software needed for a smart vehicle revolution.

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While large-scale use of these systems is still years away, technology companies around the world are advancing. Amazon.com Inc.’s Zoox got approval in September to test self-driving cars on public roads without a safety driver. News from Apple Inc. of a self-driving car for 2024 took its shares to record highs last month. Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving cars have been roaming America’s roads for years.

In China, self-driving cars from search engine giant Baidu Inc. are driving on the roads of suburban Beijing. Chip startups like Horizon Robotics and Shanghai Westwell Lab Information Technology Co. are testing automatic driving technologies using AI processors and algorithms.

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China, the world’s largest auto market, wants smart vehicles with at least some automation to account for more than 50% of new car sales by 2025, according to a national technology roadmap drawn up in November. The plan also highlighted the need for an infrastructure that allows vehicles to connect to the Internet and to each other.

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Increasing safety is a priority – currently, one person is killed in a traffic accident in China every eight minutes. Huawei’s goal is for its technology to provide more accurate, real-time information to vehicles, drivers, pedestrians and other road users about traffic, weather conditions and potential hazards.

“The roads are supposed to serve the vehicles that run on them,” said Jiang of Huawei. “They need to provide more information to provide better support.”

(This story was not edited by The Bharat Express News on Social Platforms.)

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