Volkswagen is reportedly known to be in talks with China’s Huawei to acquire an autonomous driving unit for billions of euros. It is reported by Manager Magazin on Thursday. On Wednesday Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess stated that he expects the car industry to see widespread autonomous driving within 25 years. Added that the company is going to pursue more partnerships to increase self-sufficiency in software.
Last year the automaker made one of the company’s biggest automotive licensing deals. Volkswagen licensed Huawei’s 4G standard-essential patents (SEPs). With this, the vehicles will be equipped with wireless connectivity. 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. It is reported by Reuters that Volkswagen is in talks with the Chinese company to acquire the self-driving unit.
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.
VW’s earlier agreement with Huawei
VW reaches an agreement license with Huawei’s largest licensing deal in the automotive industry in July 2021. Song Liuping, Chief Legal Officer of Huawei, said, “As an innovative company, we own a leading patent portfolio for wireless technologies, which creates great value for the automotive industry. We are pleased that key players from the automotive industry recognize that value. We believe this license will benefit worldwide consumers with our advanced technology.”
Huawei expects more than 30 million vehicles to be licensed under its patents based on existing license agreements. Over the past 20 years, Huawei has entered into more than 100 patent license agreements with major global companies across Europe, the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Huawei will continue to bring digital connectivity to more vehicles globally to establish a fully connected, intelligent world.
As Huawei is also going towards autonomous technology, it could be possible that they form partnerships with other automakers. Back in October 2021, there were statements about the possibility of buying the autonomous driving unit. It was stated that Huawei will primarily act as a supplier for Volkswagen, which will be the majority shareholder and the controlling party of the joint venture. Huawei will provide technology intellectual property (IP), including software technology and chip IP. However, there was no confirmation.
It is also known that with the establishment of the joint venture, Huawei will also contribute many senior technical staff members. According to 36Kr, Su Qing, a former executive in Huawei’s automotive branch and former head of its intelligent driving product department, will be part of the joint venture.