According to a report by state-run news outlet China Daily, Huawei is developing a mapping tech that is specifically designed to challenge Google maps. Apparently, Huawei augmented reality mapping service is intended for software developers, meaning apps that offer navigation or ride-hailing services could use Huawei’s planned mapping technology instead of creating their own.
The company executive told this mapping service is called Map kit and it will offer different developers a street navigation system that can be used in the various apps and would be able to show real-time traffic situation of the surrounding as well. This Map Kit distinguishes from other mapping services due to its augmented-reality mapping. Google has recently launched AR walking directions and somehow this augmented reality mapping is similar to that.
As per DailyChina, Huawei is partnering with Yandex a Russian internet service giant to connect the Map Kit with local mapping services. The company is expecting to collaborate with Booking Holdings as well. The Telecom base stations of Huawei can display information to satellite positioning data.
Google Maps was launched in 2005 and with the passage of time, it becomes one of the largest used apps. In order to compete with Google, the Chinese smartphone maker needs to invest a heavy amount of money in its mapping tech. Google also bought Waze for $996 million in 2013 and literally driving a fleet of its own cars up and down streets around the world to help map them. Moreover, Apple launched its app service in 2012 and since then it has been trying to catch-up with Google mapping services.
Initially, Apple tried different sort of mapping data ranging from pastiche from TomTom to OpenStreetMap. Other than this, Nokia also tried to offer some map services but eventually failed and sold it to a consortium of German car companies for $3 billion in 2015. US government put trade restrictions on Huawei that had left no option for the company to make its own hardware and software.
In May, Huawei was given a license by US government expiring on August 19th that allows US tech companies to continue working with Huawei but it’s still not confirmed whether Huawei will ever continue to work with Android on its smartphones or not. Huawei recently revealed HarmonyOS, a new operating system developed only for Huawei devices. According to Huawei, HarmonyOS will only run on smartphones but it is anticipated that the company might also switch its Android phones with HarmonyOS in the day when the company no longer uses Android anymore.
Huawei augmented reality feature might launch in October and it will cover 150 countries and regions and will also be available in 40 different languages. We are looking forward to this new mapping feature and how it will challenge Google maps.