Anatomy of a self-driving car

LeEco’s LeSee Pro  

At the launch of an array of LeEco products for the US market, one of the biggest talking points was the launch of their electric car project, LeSee and the LeSee Pro. However, due to logistical issues, that included one of the prototypes of the car being stuck in London for the shooting of the latest instalment of the Transformers franchise, Jia Yueting, the founder of LeEco, could not drive it to the stage. Instead, the car was exhibited at the demo area. Talking about the concept of the car, Jia Yueting spoke on the company’s broader goals of clearing up the smog problem in China and bringing back the blue skies in the country. “We see it as part of our ecosystem and not just a car. We want the users to be able to stream content and enjoy themselves in the car.”

Tony Nie, Senior Vice President, LeEco, strategic investments and car business, was very confident of launching a production model of the electric and autonomous driven car by early next year. He said, “We are working closely with Faraday Future. We hope that a production model will be built by February 2017.” He pointed out, “We will be marketing the car for high-end users in the United States and China. We plan to expand gradually, to markets like India also. However, we need to keep local traffic rules and regulations in mind. The car will not only offer autonomous driving options, it will also allow you to watch live video in your car. It incorporates features that ensure that the front and back of the exterior change colours to inform pedestrians and other drivers if the car is in autonomous mode or being driven manually or is car-share ready. In autonomous mode, the steering wheel folds up and retreats into the dashboard.”

Tony feels that a ride-sharing model will be very successful for the autonomous car. However, he says, “I think that we will need to educate the users and the general public about the autonomous driving concept. If I make someone sit in a car, without a steering, they would be terrified. I think that process will take some years. We have many experts helping us in the project. I feel that autonomous driving cars will become popular in the US before making its presence felt in places such as China and India, where traffic is not regulated and very heavy.”

The author was in San Francisco on the invitation of LeEco.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 7:15:41 AM |

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