(Reuters) – Germany’s Volkswagen is in talks with China’s Huawei about acquiring an autonomous driving unit for billions of euros, Manager Magazin reported on Thursday last week.
Automakers and technology firms are investing billions of dollars in autonomous driving, aiming to take an early lead in what many consider the future of mobility.
Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess said on Wednesday he expects the car industry to see widespread autonomous driving within 25 years and that the company was pursuing new partnerships to increase its self-sufficiency in software.
Group leaders have been negotiating the deal, which also involves technology systems Volkswagen is not yet proficient in, for several months, Manager Magazine said, citing inside sources.
Aside from Volkswagen, Sony is among the other companies that are investing billions into the electric and autonomous vehicle market. Companies are rushing to get hold of the market share as quickly as possible as they prepare for the future of autonomous driving.
Diess also said Volkswagen was pursuing further partnerships to increase its self-sufficiency in software and adding such features as brand-specific voice assistants to its cars. He added VW was working on an I.D. Space Vizzion sedan plus SUV variants for the North American market as well as new ideas for its I.D. 3 Cabriolet.
Volkswagen in talks to buy Huawei’s autonomous driving unit
The autonomous driving unit of Huawei is a fast-evolving enterprise that has been able to grow hugely due to its diverse and rich technology in the proprietary products of the autonomous driving evolution. The deal is expected to be worth several billions of Euros, sources say.
Even though Huawei has been struggling ever since the US sanctions, the company is fighting to stay afloat by investing in other potential units and divisions that are profitable for the future.
Since 2019 when Huawei created the autonomous driving unit, it has grown rapidly, tapping from the rich resource of technology available from its divisions although there had been speculation that the Chinese company may develop its own autonomous vehicles. However, Huawei’s goal is to be a component supplier for different car brands.
An acquisition of Huawei’s autonomous driving business won’t be cheap. The company’s smart car unit had plans to spend a total of $1 billion on R&D for the year 2021. It also aimed to build an R&D team boasting 5,000 staff, with over 2,000 of them working on autonomous driving alone.
If the deal was to happen, it would be a powerful one that will benefit both companies as they look towards the future. All we can do now is wait and see what happens next.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.