Huawei's AI-powered smartphone drives a Porsche

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 27 2018 08:53 AM | Updated as of Oct 13 2018 09:34 PM

An engineer points to a Huawei Mate 10 Pro mobile used to control a driverless car during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain Monday. Yves Herman, Reuters

BARCELONA - China's Huawei used the artificial intelligence capabilities of its flagship Mate 10 Pro phone to drive a sports car as the Mobile World Congress got under way in Barcelona Monday, in what it said was a world first.

The Porsche avoided several obstacles, including a dog and a bike, as it drove in a straight line to demonstrate the AI-powered object recognition technology in the phone's camera.

The tech giant said it was "the first mobile device manufacturer in the world to use an AI-powered smartphone to drive a car," saying the technology was able to distinguish between thousands of different objects and thereby able to avoid any collision.

Huawei said the test was only designed to demonstrate its phone's AI capabilities and did not plan to develop a new driverless car.

"The smartphone totally controls the vehicle, we did not do anything except for steering elements," said Arne Herkelmann, who heads Huawei's handset portfolio in Europe.

"The camera sees that there is something on the road, recognizes what it is and acts to avoid it, we trained our AI to be able to recognize a road and its possible obstacles."

In 2017, Huawei was the world's third biggest seller of smartphones after Samsung and Apple, holding a 10.4 percent market share, up from 9.5 percent a year earlier, according to figures from research firm IDC.