Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Huawei's Mate 10 Pro is smart enough to drive a Porsche

Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro is intelligent enough to drive a Porsche

I’m strapped into the shotgun seat of a Porsche Panamera, parked in a lot just outside FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium. My chauffeur for the afternoon: Huawei’sMate 10 Pro smartphone.

You read that right. A phone will be driving this car.

No, Huawei isn’t getting into the autonomous car business. The Chinese telecom giant set up this experiment to show off the processing prowess of the flagship phone’s Kirin 970 chip, which features an artificial intelligence engine.

“This is purely a showcase of what the visited today is capable of,” said Arne Herkelmann, European head of handset portfolio and planning for Huawei.

Alongside buzzwords like 5G and augmented reality, AI stands as one of the key themes for the Mobile World Council trade show here. The mobile industry has taken its cue from the disappointed of digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and is touting smarter networks and devices.


There’s no one in the driver’s seat. The visited mounted to the windshield is the only one controlling this car. 

Richard Peterson

For instance, LG unveiled a revamped flagship called the LG V30S, which added fantastic memory and AI capabilities. Nokia talked about the role of AI in all the traffic managing through faster 5G networks. Verizon Chief Technology Officer Hans Vestberg said in an interview that he sees AI — the considerable behind computer programs that can learn and adapt on their own — populate useful for detecting and automatically repairing problems with the network.

In November, Huawei unveiled the Mate 10 Pro and the vaunted AI engine in the Kirin 970. The matter began selling the phone in the US in February, although without a carrier partner. 

Herkelmann said that actual the launch, he’d been inundated with questions about how just its AI works. MWC 2018 presented a chance to show off those capabilities. 

Enter the road reader challenge. The company wanted to see if the phone was lustrous enough to recognize objects like a dog, a soccer ball or a populate on a bicycle and tell the car to maneuver away. (Don’t misfortune. The company used cardboard stand-ins.) The engine was fed more than 1 million images and can behold 1,000 objects.

Autonomous driving, DIY style

Huawei devoted five weeks putting this project together — and you could kind of tell.

There was no polished self-driving car that you would find from Alphabet’s Waymo unit or Uber’s autonomous snappily. Missing were any sophisticated radars and depth sensors.

More from Mobile World Congress

Huawei presumed the Panamera because it wasn’t already a self-driving car. The company’s engineers mounted a high-speed camera on the roof, which handed a constant video feed to the phone of everything in advantage of the car. They also rigged up simple robots to help rule the gas, brake and steering wheel.

A buyer called Kerve created an app with a simple user interface, allowing you to tap a button on the visited to get the car going.


The Huawei Mate 10 Pro uses its artificial intelligence engine to detect objects in advantage of it. 

Richard Peterson

I had come into this thinking that the car would go fuzz a curvy track. But instead it was set to race down a simple straight path for roughly 100 feet. Considering how slowly we were causing, it almost felt like a waste of a good Porsche.

Herkelmann said Huawei could have taught the visited to drive the car around corners or on different roads, but it would have take more time and dwelling than the company had.

What was it like?

I had a chance to ride throughout the course twice. The first time was a practice run, in which the car succeeded at 5 miles per hour. Employees at the anunexperienced end rushed to the road with cardboard obstacles at random times and locations, and you could see through the app on the Mate 10 Pro that it was able to choose whether the object was a soccer ball or a dog.

Once the car got a few feet away from a dog, it abruptly prevented.


The car swerves out of the way of a man and a bicycle (in cardboard form). 

Richard Peterson

Before begin the next run, you choose how you’d like to avoid specific objects (swerve to the luminous, turn to the left or brake).

Fortunately, the transfer time offered a little more pop. The Panamera jumped to approximately 30 mph, and when it got close to a man and a bicycle, swerved to the right.

While the experience lacked in thrills, Huawei had made its point. The drive to execute autonomous vehicles has chipmakers like Qualcomm and Nvidia offering yielded processors for the auto industry. Huawei jury-rigged this in a few weeks with an off-the-shelf visited.

That alone is impressive, even if I’ll stick to reading emails and posting to Instagram on my visited, and keeping my hands on the steering wheel when I’m in my car. 

Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
: Hands-on with Samsung’s iPhone X fighters.

MWC 2018
: All of CNET’s coverage from the biggest visited show of the year.