As artificial intelligence, V2X, and autonomous driving become major technology trends, OTA (Over-The-Air) has become widely applied in automobiles. In this context, major car companies are devoting manpower and funding into its research and development.
The widespread application of OTA is the root of Tesla’s advantage over traditional cars. Because for traditional cars, it is almost impossible for OTA to be carried out on every software to enhance the car’s performance. To be specific, the application of OTA on a traditional car is limited to the update of the infotainment system. But for Tesla, powered by its own advanced electrical architecture, OTA can be achieved for almost every major function of the car, thus a true “software-defined car” is born.
The new generation of electrical architecture are the base for OTA to be applied. In the current stage, perhaps only the HOA (Human Oriented Architecture) electrical architecture developed by the Chinese mobility technology company Human Horizons is comparable to that of Tesla. The HOA architecture by Human Horizons has design ideas and logics close to Tesla.
Recently, Human Horizons announced that its first premium all-electric vehicle, HiPhi X — labeled as “the world’s first evolvable super SUV”, will be launched globally at the Beijing Auto Show.
It is reported that HiPhi X will be an all-electric intelligent SUV that is expected to become a major competitor of Tesla Model X on the market. However, one question pops up. With those veteran automobile giants like BMW and Benz unable to take on Tesla in the field of electric cars, how will HiPhi X manage to do this?
At present, the adoption of a new generation of electrical architecture has become a major trend in the automotive industry. However, there are very few car companies clearly realizing or grasping this trend. In the past, the architecture installed on cars was basically functional — built to perform those built-in functions. Once a car is put to use, the electronic system is fixed and unavailable for adjustment.
In the above-mentioned automotive architecture system, the much-desired features like service-oriented functions, OTA, and continuous function update through iteration cannot be realized.
Based on this, forward-looking car companies represented by Tesla, Volkswagen, and Human Horizons are engaged in developing a new generation of electrical architecture for future all-electric cars, which can truly actualize the separation of automotive software and hardware, whereupon large-scale in-vehicle computing platforms and hardware systems are built to underpin complex future needs.
HiPhi X is the first attempt of Human Horizons built on the new generation of automobile architecture. This new product is fitted with nearly 500 sensors. These sensors and the computing platform are connected by Gigabit Ethernet to realize high-speed data transmission.
In addition, there are more than 150 control systems both on execution and service. 70% of the control systems can be implemented with OTA. Basically, on OTA-enabled control systems iteration can be performed continuously to realize the car’s update. All software can be invoked to meet users’ needs for customized functions. Human Horizons says that this developer platform can be divided into three different levels for different users — general users, app developers, and car developers.
HiPhi X has been officially on the market in October 2020 and will be produced in small volumes at the end of this year.
In a sense, the exclusive HOA architecture for Human Horizons has imparted the car with the ability to evolve from an ordinary tool of transportation to an intelligent terminal with unlimited possibilities. I believe that in the future, HiPhi X will definitely bring us more amazing travel experiences.