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Research on Huawei's CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electrified): Who is the main rival of Huawei in automotive engagement?
Huawei showcased its automotive products at Beijing International Automotive Exhibition 2020 (Auto China 2020) held in Beijing from September 26 to October 5, 2020, where Huawei’s ambition in CASE can be clearly seen.
It is generally believed that Bosch is to be the real competitor of Huawei’s automotive involvement.
Huge gap between Huawei and Bosch in automotive business
ResearchInChina singles out 41 CASE indicators and compares them to assess such players’ CASE capabilities as Bosch, Huawei, Baidu, and Waymo.
Judging from final scores, Bosch in possession of 30,000 software engineers stays far ahead of other peers. Bosch is scheduled to lavish €4 billion into autonomous driving (AD) between 2019 and 2022, with the rising number of 2,000 AD engineers in 2019 to 4,000 ones till 2022. It is conceivable that Bosch as the leading CASE vendor will be hardly challenged within five years.
In respect of hardware, the top four emerging Chinese automakers select Bosch, and embrace BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) as concerns software and application ecosystem.
The traditional OEMs like SAIC, Great Wall Motor, Geely and BYD have established own intelligent connectivity subsidiaries successively, attempting to develop core systems such as domain control unit (DCU), underlying layer and mid-layer software independently.
Actually, the traditional OEMs’ engagement in the development of core systems makes Tier-1 suppliers (struggling to find a new position, and most of whom are in the red with gloomy prospects) ever less viable.
The traditional automakers are desperately seeking for a transition as competition pricks up. As long as a Tier-1 supplier makes a success in a case of product use for a carmaker, there will be an inrush of orders from other automakers. For instance, Desay SV’s orders from Changan Automobile and Chery come of its multi-screen cockpit solution availability onto Leading Ideal ONE
Although with a complete product matrix, Huawei’s most products except T-Box, V2X and MDC platform have not been spawned yet. Huawei is painfully aware of a rather high threshold for access to the automotive sector, in readiness for no profits in six years.
Huawei has BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent) as the realistic opponents
Huawei is inferior to Bosch whatever customer relationship, technical accumulation, R&D input or experience in mass production. So, Huawei is still not competent enough to threaten Bosch.
Like BAT, Huawei is just a peripheral supplier for mainstream passenger car makers, with production cooperation still in cockpit and telematics.
Goosed by vibrant players like BAT, China stays two years or three ahead of foreign countries when it comes to cockpit and Internet of Vehicle (IoV) technology application. Based on this, Huawei and BAT are turning to be the suppliers of incremental components.
As the development route of cooperative vehicle infrastructure system (CVIS) prevails in China, there is a huge Chinese market of road side perception and decision systems for intelligent transportation and smart roads. It’s just a matter of time to foray into vehicle with enough experience in roadside perception and decision since it hardly poses any threat to Bosch for the moment.
In this sense, Huawei has the realistic competitors in the recent years such as BAT and HikVision that are absorbed in cooperative vehicle infrastructure system (CVIS).
How will Huawei win out?
By referring to rivalry in the process of featured phones to smart phones, the vast majority of startups and tier-2 suppliers in the intelligent connected vehicle (ICV) field will be predictably eliminated in cut-throat competition, and only three or five of them will survive and there will be an oligarch in the intelligent vehicle computing platform market then when components will be standardized, plug and play alongside a thriving software application ecosystem.
Huawei is ambitious to be an ultimate winner, with strides in autonomous driving integrators and commercial vehicle manufacturers already.
It is with the help of Huawei MDC platform that Momenta and HoloMatic developed HWP and AVP solutions for passenger cars; that CiDi (Changsha Intelligent Driving Institute Ltd.) developed intelligent heavy truck solutions; that Neolix developed self-driving delivery system; that DeepRoute.ai developed the solution for container trucks at ports; that i-Tage Technology Co., Ltd. and WAYTOUS developed autonomous mining truck solutions.
In early 2019, Yutong Bus signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Huawei about building a bus automated driving computing platform by leveraging Huawei’s MDC technologies and its automated driving technologies for buses.
In April 2019, FOTON joined forces with Huawei in developing commercial-scale intelligent driving computation platform for production models inclusive of heavy truck, medium truck, light truck, pickup, bus and van.
In May 2019, FAW Jiefang inked a deal with Huawei about joint efforts in 5G-enabled telematics, intelligent driving, rich communication suite (RCS), cloud services, among others.
In June 2019, JMC Group signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Huawei about collaborating on automotive electrification, intelligence, telematics and the technologies concerned.
In July 2020, Yutong Bus signed a contract with Huawei about joint efforts in fields like telematics platform development, intelligent driving, new energy, intelligent public transport and smart sanitation vehicle whilst pushing ahead with project implementations in a plurality of commercial vehicle scenarios.
Overall, Huawei’s automotive business route is to first encroach on the peripheral markets and then encircle the key markets. Huawei helps the ecosystem partners massively use MDC platform and impress clients with the superiority of its computing platform and ecosystem to other computing platforms, offering air support from 5G and C-V2X technologies as well as governmental demonstration projects and ‘1+8+N’ all-scenario strategy.
Huawei needs to succeed first in commercial vehicle and special vehicle fields and then acts as a full supporter for two to three Chinese passenger car makers (like BAIC Motor and BYD) from whom it makes handsome sales, with a possibility of access to the supply chain of influential passenger car makers. Only acceptance from the leading OEMs can Huawei MDC become one of the mainstream intelligent vehicle computing platforms on the Chinese market. This will take about five to eight years.