Huawei And Volkswagen Partner For Connected Cars

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Integration of smartphones with cars deepens with partnership between Huawei and Volkswagen

The growing trend for connected cars has claimed another big name following a new deal between Chinese equipment maker Huawei and German car maker Volkswagen.

The two firms have announced that they will co-operate on car connectivity, and will develop technology to “integrate smartphone functions with vehicle-mounted systems”. The idea is to create a system that can be used safely by drivers whilst driving.

MirrorLink Tech

jaguar-land-rover-virtual-windshield-ghost-carThe two firms used the International Consumer Electronics Show Asia in Shanghai this week to jointly demonstrate a series of products that use MirrorLink technology, allowing drivers to safely use GPS navigation systems, play music, send and receive messages, and make phone calls while behind the wheel.

“Our cooperation with Huawei will seamlessly blend the capabilities of users’ smartphones with the systems in their cars,” explained Sven Patuschka, executive VP for R&D of Volkswagen Group China. “All content on the phone will be shown in real time on the car’s infotainment touch screen. The result is smart and convenient interaction between phone and car.”

The first car to sport the MirrorLink tech will be the Volkswagen Lamando, followed by the Golf 7, with all imported VW models (into China) from 2016 onwards featuring the technology.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG noted that cars of today are turning out to be the largest mobile smart terminals.

Huawei is making great strides to expand beyond its network equipment heritage. The Chinese firm has expanded into the smartphone and wearable tech markets. And earlier this month, it promised a lightweight Internet of Things (IoT)-focused operating system called LiteOS.

Other car makers and tech vendors are also looking to develop their own connected car technology, including Cisco, GM, Vodafone and Microsoft.

Connected Cars

Last June, Google introduced the Android Auto project, its bid to get the Linux-based mobile OS inside cars, which is expected to compete with Apple’s CarPlay, a similar platform for iPhone owners.

Gartner predicted earlier this year that the number of connected ‘smart’ cars, able to monitor the environment around them and possibly even drive themselves, will skyrocket in the next few years.

It predicted that by 2020, over a quarter of a billion connected vehicles will be on the world’s roads as the technology implanted in them improves. That equates to around one in every five cars on the planet.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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