Chinese IT equipment and smartphone manufacturer Huawei announced that it will join hands with local automaker BYD to produce the world’s first eLTE unmanned driving system for BYD’s monorail, local media has reported.

BYD’s monorail, known as SkyRail, went into operation in September 2017 in the city of Yinchuan and has already made an international leap to the Philippines. The company, which counts Warren Buffet as one of its backers, developed the monorail as a public transportation solution to China’s crowded city streets that is cheaper than subways. It has spent about five years and RMB 5 billion to develop SkyRail.

BYD started off as a battery produces and has been heavily investing in new energy vehicles. In 2016, while China’s electric vehicle market was being boosted by government subsidies, the carmaker became the world’s largest seller of electric passenger vehicles including electric buses. BYD showcased its app-equipped smart car Qin at last year’s World’s Mobile Conference in Shanghai.

BYD and Huawei made the announcement in Yinchuan noting that the self-driving collaboration will start January 10th. The two companies have already worked together on developing smart factory solutions.

Updated January 23, 2018: A previous version of this post stated that eLTE is Huawei’s proprietary technology based on the LTE standard. eLTE is not Huawei’s proprietary technology.

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.

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