Biz / Auto

Our cars are getting smarter, and better connected

Zhu Shenshen
The Shanghai auto show, which runs until next Thursday, is a showcase of the latest blend of technology and cars.
Zhu Shenshen
Our cars are getting smarter, and better connected
Zhu Shenshen / SHINE

Smart driving technologies, from radar, to chips, 5G, AI, and beyond are on display at the Shanghai auto fair. 

Leading auto chip designer NXP Semiconductors on Thursday announced a strategic partnership with Chinese radar firm Hawkeye Technology to work on radar applications for smart driving. 

The announcement of the deal came at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, which is highlighting how our cars are becoming smarter, safer and better connected with the help of new chips, software codes, advanced radar, 5G and artificial intelligence algorithms.

China’s automotive radar sensor market is growing twice the global rate. By 2020, radar technology will be used in half of all cars, especially those with smart driving features, analysts said.

Radar is now widely used in applications covering blind-spot detection, automatic emergency braking, front and rear cross-traffic detection and precise environmental mapping. It’s widely seen as a key factor in building more-intelligent cars and self-driving models in the future. 

Compared with traditional cameras and sensors, radar can detect precise distances and other factors for smart driving and safety.

But they are expensive, although volume production could reduce costs, said Suteng Innovation, a Shenzhen-based radar vendor.

In a separate move, Harman, a subsidiary of Samsung, said it would offer digital services for Chinese car makers such as Great Wall Motor and Beijing Electric Vehicle, covering connected technologies, cyber security and high-speed information services.

With Samsung’s mobile and 5G communications services, audio technology and device provider Harman now offers various services for automakers.

Its car audio sales in China are growing 15 percent annually — triple the industry's growth rate.

Chinese AI startups SenseTime and Horizon Robotics also announced new platforms and partnerships during the show.

Meanwhile, tech upgrades on chip and code are also necessary for smart driving.

The show is restricted to the industry today, but will be open to the public from tomorrow until Thursday.

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