Huawei put a dog on a runway and drove a car at it to showcase the AI chip in its Mate 10 Pro
The latest video from smartphone manufacturer Huawei is definitely one of the stranger publicity stunts I’ve ever seen.
To showcase whether the AI in its flagship device, the Mate 10 Pro (read our review here), could safely drive a car, the Chinese firm hired a dog, a runway and a modified car.
In the opening scenes, said pooch can be seen tilting its head as a car emblazoned with colourful Huawei vinyls starts to approach, all accompanied by suitably dramatic music.
In the clip, as the car hurtles towards the animal, the Mate 10 Pro is showing detecting the outline of the dog before taking actions to avoid the car crashing into it.
All in all, the whole thing makes for pretty awkward watching, but there is some logic to Huawei’s decision to show off the phone’s AI capabilities (if not its choice to use a living, breathing animal as a pawn in its experiment).
The Mate 10 Pro features the company’s Kirin 970 chipset, which boasts baked-in AI. Prior to its launch, Huawei claimed the chip would lead to “truly personalised” experiences for users. But, perhaps having not received the accolades they hoped it would, Huawei has taken this a step further, making a more dramatic song and dance about the impressive hardware.
Of course, the car needed substantial modifications before the experiment could take place. “The first thing we had to do with the car was allow it to be robotically controlled,” explains head of creative technology Duncan Kerracher. “Then we had to build a communication method that allows the phone to tell the car that it’s a specific object”.
Next, the phone uses this information in order to manoeuvre the car accordingly. But don’t let us spoil the ending for you. Watch the video in full for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Just be prepared, you might not see it as the slick showcasing of mobile technology that Huawei hopes it will be.