Chinese vendor Huawei has launched what it claims to be the world’s first 5G-powered hardware for self-driving cars.

The Chinese firm launched the MH5000 module, based on its Balong 5000 5G chip, at the Shanghai Auto Show. “Based on this chip, Huawei has developed the world’s first 5G car module with high speed and high quality,” the vendor said.

Huawei said the 5G module will contribute to its plans to commercialize a 5G network for the automotive sector, possibly during the second half of this year.

Speaking in a keynote at the event, Huawei’s rotating chairman Eric Xu said that the company had made a strategic choice to develop solutions for the automotive industry, as this sector is increasingly turning to the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

“Huawei does not make cars,” said Xu. “Focusing on ICT, Huawei aims to enable car OEMs to build better vehicles. Based on ICT, Huawei aims to be a digital car-orientated and new-added components provider.”

In its statement, Huawei added: “As an important communication product for future intelligent car transportation, this 5G car module will promote the automotive industry to move towards the 5G era.”

Huawei has been testing technology for connected cars in a number of Chinese cities including Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuxi. The vendor has also signed agreements with car makers including FAW Group, Dongfeng and Changan Automobile.

Last year, Huawei, together with China Mobile and Chinese state-owned automotive manufacturing company SAIC, jointly demonstrated the application of intelligent and connected vehicles using a low-latency network enabled by “5G Era LTE” and the cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology.

The demo involved a human operator who remotely controlled a remote fleet vehicle via a driving control console.

In the test, the driver was located more than 30 kilometers away from the vehicle. Several high-definition video cameras installed in the vehicle sent multiple real-time HD video feeds to the driver, providing him with a 240-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings over a high-bandwidth network based on likely 5G technologies.

Control signals for the steering wheel, gas pedal, and brakes were also transmitted over the 5G network, which provided the ultra-low latency needed to support instant response to different roadside conditions, the companies said. From his remote position, the driver was able to maintain full control over the vehicle at all times.

Huawei said that control accuracy was accomplished with the help of low-latency technology that reduces the end-to-end latency to below 20 ms, and HD video backhaul technology.

The intelligent and connected vehicles used in this demonstration were independently developed by SAIC. The demonstration was also based on China Mobile’s wireless network, which is equipped with low-latency and HD video backhaul solutions offered by Huawei. China Mobile is also the provider of the E2E remote driving system that features edge computing technology.

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