Huawei and Chinese automaker BYD, which produces electric vehicles, announced the first line of vehicles that will use the HiCar automation system, based on the Harmony OS operating system developed by Huawei.
HiCar is a “smart connectivity solution” and Huawei's first move into the automotive sector. There are not many details about its features, it includes navigation functions (as in Google Maps and Waze) and entertainment, in addition to integrating messages and calls with a mobile phone. It is known that users will be able to control various aspects of the vehicle and check its status in real time using a smartphone.
This is also the first time that Huawei brings 5G connectivity to vehicles. According to the company, the HiCar will be available in more than 120 models from 30 manufacturers, including European automakers, such as Audi, and Chinese as BYD, GAC and BAIC.
Google has its own automotive system, the Android Auto, just like Apple has the Car Play. Therefore, nothing is more natural for Huawei than developing a solution that connects users to its ecosystem of smartphones and acessories.
Living without Android
Originally quoted as an “alternative to Android” for use on smartphones, the result of sanctions implemented by the US government that prevent Huawei from doing business with US companies, Harmony OS was unveiled last year as a system for the “internet of things”, including smartwatches, smart screens and connected devices.
In recent smartphones, such as the P40, the company uses an operating system based on the Open Source version of Android, which is not affected by the embargo, and develops its own alternatives to Google services, such as a app store, virtual assistant e maps service.