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Huawei and Volkswagen partnership brings smartphones and cars together

Chinese firm Huawei has announced a partnership with Volkswagen that should bring the worlds of smartphones and automobiles closer together.

The two companies revealed the collaboration at the International Consumer Electronics Show Asia earlier this week, demonstrating ways to integrate smartphone functionality into vehicle-mounted systems.

Read more: Huawei hopes to dominate IoT industry with new operating system

One of the key considerations for the two companies was how to enable drivers to access mobile apps without compromising their safety and that of other drivers. The technology uses MirrorLink software to enable connectivity between cars and smartphones and allows drivers to access GPS navigation tools, music services and even make phone calls.

Sven Patuschka, executive vice president for research and development of Volkswagen Group China, explained that the new technology will provide useful information for drivers in real-time.

“Our cooperation with Huawei will seamlessly blend the capabilities of users’ smartphones with the systems in their cars,” he said (opens in new tab). “All content on the phone will be shown in real time on the car’s infotainment touch screen. The result is smart and convenient interaction between phone and car.”

Huawei and Volkswagen will look to dominate an increasingly popular market in the connectivity sphere, namely vehicle-mounted smart devices. The first vehicle to use MirrorLink will be the Volkswagen Lamando, followed by the Golf 7, with all imported VW models from 2016 onwards featuring the technology.

The partnership demonstrates Huawei’s continued ambition to be seen as more than just a smartphone manufacturer. Earlier this month, the firm revealed a new lightweight operating system that it hopes can dominate the Internet of Things landscape. Aside from that, the company’s handsets are extremely popular in its native China.

Read more: Google Nexus partnership with Huawei revealed by leaked specs (opens in new tab)

Volkswagen will be hoping that the collaboration can build on its own positive sales figures in the Asian country, with the manufacturer shipping 2.76 million cars to Chinese customers in 2014.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.