Huawei has been touting the AI capabilities of its new Kirin 970, first seen in the Huawei Mate 10 series. With a built-in neural processing unit, the Mate 10’s AI feature was designed to identify objects and scenes to automatically adjust camera settings. But in order to prove just how accurate that AI is, Huawei has taken things to the extreme. It hooked up a Mate 10 Pro to a modified Porsche Panamera not only to identify objects on the road but to also steer the makeshift self-driving car to avoid them.
Smartphones power and drive almost everything these days. In the future, they might also drive cars as well, removing the need for built-in self-driving and AI systems. That is, of course, a distant possibility but a technically feasible one, as proven by Huawei. They modified a Porsche Panamera so that it could be controlled by a smartphone hooked into it. But more than just drive the car, that smartphone will also be its eyes and its brains.
Actual self-driving cars rely on a variety of sensors and the camera is just one of them. In this demo, however, Huawei was content with just using a single Mate 10 Pro place on the dashboard and facing forward. The goal was to identify objects in the car’s path and, if necessary, steer to avoid them.
Of course, it would have been a different story had the poor canine met an accident. But in addition to the expected results, the fact that Huawei only took five weeks to develop the system is itself an impressive feat. And, of course, it will take more than just one smartphone and one camera to make a self-driving car, which isn’t exactly the point of the demo.
Huawei was basically demonstrating both its AI and its imaging talent, which can then be used, on their own, in actual car systems. Already it has a partnership with Chinese tech giant Baidu to improve the latter’s own AI technology. And since Baidu is also working on self-driving vehicles, Huawei’s AI might indeed find itself inside one of those in the near future.