Reportedly, Huawei is building self-driving cars in a partnership with different automakers, as a part of its AI initiative.
A Huawei executive told the Financial Times that the Chinese tech giant is providing AI software to the notable carmakers including Volkswagen’s Audi and a joint venture between Japan’s Toyota and China’s GAC.
Two other Chinese companies, Changan Automobile and Beijing New Energy Automobile, are also teaming up with the company, the newspaper reported.
Dang Wenshuan, Huawei’s chief strategy architect, told the newspaper that the company and its partners are working to build cars that might be launched as early as 2021. The vehicles would be available in Europe as well as China, he said.
Industry standards for self-driving vehicles identify the levels of autonomy an automobile is able to reach. For Huawei’s, it would be Level 4, which is the second-highest standard in the framework.
The FT says it was shown a video of an Audi vehicle powered by Huawei’s AI tech at the firm’s headquarters in Shanghai. It said the steering wheel and controls were untouched, however, the vehicle contained a driver.
Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company has faced scrutiny from Washington during the U.S.-China trade war. The company got recently added to a trade blacklist by the Trump administration, which made multiple suppliers breaking ties from the firm.
Earlier on Wednesday, the firm stated that they canceled the launch of its new Matebook laptop as a result of being blacklisted from doing business with American suppliers.
The officials of the U.S. are concerned about the telecom giant’s network gear could be used to enable Chinese surveillance, a claim the company denies. The firm is “independent” from Beijing and would never share data network, a Huawei executive recently told lawmakers of U.K.