Some of the things this Chinese smart SUV can do should worry Tesla
Over the past decade or so, we’ve become accustomed to US automaker Tesla leading the way in terms of developing electric vehicles, but also in redefining what a car actually is: no longer just a means of transportation, but also a driver, a valet. A house on wheels, a game center, you name it. But, as you’ll see below, there are companies dreaming up things that Tesla hasn’t made its mark on yet.
Today’s example of exciting things from electric cars not made by Tesla comes from China. It’s there where the country’s largest automaker, Geely, last weekend showed the world the JiYUE 01.
Geely is used to making electric cars, and JiYUE is just that. It is offered in either single or dual drive configurations. Regardless of the version customers choose, each of the car’s electric motors is capable of generating 268 horsepower.
This means the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Max Performance version should be able to produce 536 horsepower, enough for a 0-62 mph time of 3.8 seconds.
There will also be two battery options on the table, 71.4 kilowatt hours and 100 kWh, ensuring a range of 550 km (342 mi) and 720 km (447 km) respectively. This is according to measurements carried out as part of a light vehicle testing cycle in China. The batteries can be charged to 80% of their capacity in just 30 minutes, when using fast charging.
Granted, all of the above depicts an average electric car, and a Tesla would have no problem eating breakfast. And that might be the case, if it weren’t for the things this car can do in other departments.
Tesla has always prided itself on manufacturing smart, self-driving vehicles. Things that JiYUE 01 claims are able to alarm Americans.
Geely described the car as the first automated car powered by artificial intelligence. This is because it is the first production vehicle in the world to use Baudi’s Apollo suite of autonomous driving solutions. If you don’t know what this is, suffice it to tell you that this is Level 4 – No human input is needed in specific environments.
Baidu is one of the world’s largest producers of artificial intelligence systems, and introduced Apollo (or Apolong) in 2017. It is based on Qualcomm 8295 vehicle cockpit chips, NVIDIA DRIVE Orin chips, 11 high-definition cameras, 12 ultrasonic radars, And millimeter radars to make their way to wherever you want to go.
The system is capable of performing a variety of actions, including lane changes, overtaking, maneuvering on and off highway ramps, and obstacle avoidance on multi-lane roads. In more crowded environments, it can identify crossing zones and traffic signals and make way for pedestrians if necessary.
All the other technology that has become common in today’s vehicles (things like collision warning, cruise control, and lane departure warning) is also included in the package.
These in themselves are nothing unheard of, so there’s nothing really impressive there. But what comes next might make Tesla and others think.
Geely hails JiYUE as “the world’s first model to support voice-activated/controlled parking while outside the vehicle.” More specifically, using a smartphone and the parking function, car owners can vocally request the parking itself, even when the people giving the commands are about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away from where all the actions are taking place.
At the time of writing, this feature is supported on 90 percent of China’s highways, but only in three major cities: Hangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. However, by the end of next year, the voice-activated autonomous park, along with all the other autonomous features, should become available in more than 200 urban centers in the country.
You all know how over the years electric cars have caused all sorts of problems for their owners, from impromptu fires to doors staying locked when there’s a sudden power outage. These are not things that would happen in JiYUE, if we were to trust its maker.
This is because the car has been equipped with an independent power supply for the doors, something that has been hailed as an industry first. This system must ensure that the vehicle remains unlocked and allows its occupants to extricate themselves in case of danger, regardless of what happens to the main power.
Another new feature that the car brings to the industry is the new AI assistant. It’s called SIMO, and it’s especially necessary because most of the buttons you’d normally get on a car are gone. This is the first time that the assistant made by Baidu has been deployed in a car.
The device is supposed to be highly capable, offering 500ms speech recognition speed, four-way simultaneous conversations, and even continuous chat conversations. It responds not only to voice commands but also to some extent to gestures and other visual cues.
Geely says that all of the above will become common on Chinese roads after the car is launched, but it does not go so far as to say when that will be. However, it will come to market, with all those crazy capabilities, and will be followed by a second, equally powerful, yet to be announced device.
(Tags for translation) Geely GU01(R) Geely(R) Baidu(R) SIMO(R) GU01