Volkswagen in talks to purchase Huawei’s autonomous driving unit: report – TechCrunch

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The autonomous driving house is likely to be seeing the wedding of two titans. Volkswagen is in talks with Huawei to accumulate the latter’s nascent autonomous driving unit for billions of euros, Germany’s Supervisor Magazin reported on Thursday.

Huawei mentioned it has no fast remark when contacted by TechCrunch. VW China mentioned it has no remark.

The potential merger shall be a strong one. Huawei’s autonomous unit sits below the telecom tools and smartphone behemoth’s “good automobile resolution” enterprise unit, which started only in 2019. The founding of the good automobile BU spurred a lot hypothesis over whether or not Huawei would develop its personal automobiles, although the agency has repeatedly denied any manufacturing plans and mentioned it as a substitute wants to be the “Bosch of China”, or a parts provider for automobile manufacturers.

Huawei seems to have adhered to this technique, at the least up to now. Final yr, the Shenzhen-based firm showcased its automated driving solutions that had been preinstalled in a mass-produced sedan from Arcfox, a new electric car brand under Chinese automaker BAIC. Huawei equipped the electrical sedan’s chipset and in-car working system.

For VW, a tech agency with autonomous driving capabilities may assist advance its ambitions to make the automobiles of tomorrow. Certainly, the German big struck a partnership with Argo AI, a Pittsburg-based startup backed by Ford and VW. Final September, the duo unveiled the primary product of their joint effort, a self-driving electric van.

It will shock nobody that VW was looking for the same tech associate in China, its largest market as of 2020. Plenty of China’s autonomous automobile firms have already fostered deep relationships with automakers; Baidu has a joint venture with Geely and Didi has a JV with BYD.

The reported acquisition comes at a fragile time for Huawei’s AV workforce. Su Jing, former head of the Chinese language agency’s autonomous driving product, left the company in January after making what Huawei known as “inappropriate feedback” on Tesla, accusing Autopilot’s deadly accidents of “killing folks.”

Since his departure, the Huawei veteran’s subsequent step has drawn a lot hypothesis. What we all know is Su’s dislike of robotaxis. In an interview last year, the outspoken government mentioned “any firm that sees robotaxis as its final industrial aim is doomed. Those that will be capable to ship robotaxis would be the ones engaged on passenger automobiles. That market is certainly going to be mine, simply not but.”

An acquisition of Huawei’s autonomous driving enterprise gained’t be low cost. The corporate’s good automobile unit had plans to spend a total of $1 billion on R&D for the yr 2021. It additionally aimed to construct an R&D workforce boasting 5,000 workers, with over 2,000 of them engaged on autonomous driving alone. The query is: Huawei has invested so closely in good driving already, with a rising pool of shoppers, why would it not give this budding enterprise away?

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