Another Company Enters Autonomous Driving Battleground

Faraday Future, a company owned by LeEco (a Chinese tech company, and the first manufacturer that got released a smartphone featuring Snapdragon 820) is working on a self-driving car. It seems that autonomous driving market has a bright future since there are many companies working on self-driving vehicles. Tesla, Google, IBM already work on their own self-driving concepts, and although none of them presented a one hundred percent working autonomous vehicle yet, it is clear that self-driving industry is getting more and more serious.

Faraday Future

Faraday Future presented its first concept, called FFZERO1 (what a name) earlier this year; it’s an electric car made using a variable platform architecture, featuring “UFO line” design. The car looks like an overgrown toy, but it is unknown which engine it’ll hold under the hood, or will the car be used as a testing vehicle for Faraday’s self-driving technology. Nevertheless, the company gained an AVT (autonomous vehicle tester) authorization in California, allowing the company to test a self-driving vehicle on public roads. So it seems they advanced their solution enough to be permitted testing it on open roads, along with other vehicles.

Faraday Future isn’t the first company to get this permission. The State of California already issued AVT license to Google, GM and Volkswagen. There is total of fourteen companies that can test their autonomous vehicles on open roads at the moment and it seems that California roads will soon be packed with self-driving cars.

But Faraday doesn’t plan on perform testing just on the west coast. They are currently negotiating with Detroit for permission to test their self-driving tech on Michigan roads as well. It’s interesting that Faraday Future don’t have a working self-driving prototype yet, but that won’t stop them. They plan to test driving software, sensors, hardware and UIs on open, public roads. Maybe they plan on equipping some car model with the entire tech needed and test their tech with another car until they make their own self-driving prototype.

A statement from the company suggests that they are ready to begin testing phase. “Through this enhanced testing, and under the constant supervision of our qualified test drivers who will be behind the steering wheel at all times, we are confident in the success of the autonomous technologies that we are developing for future FF products.”

It’s interesting that Faraday’s Future parent company, LeEco also wants to dive into self-driving waters, with their LeSEE concept car. LeSEE is not planned to be a regular vehicle; instead, LeEco wants to bring the first autonomous taxi, something that no other company hasn’t thought of, yet. The car has a top speed of 130 MPH, a foldaway steering wheel, and an exterior display.

Faraday future LeSEE

The self-driving industry is moving forward at incredible pace. As more and more companies enter the ring, there is a higher chance that one of those companies comes up with a fully working autonomous driving technology. Who knows, maybe by 2020 we will be driven by our cars, only using steering wheel when we want to drive because we want to.

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