Faraday Future’s First Tech-Loaded Car Tries To Redefine The Future Of Mobility
The sedan-wagon-crossover vehicle incorporates more than 30 cameras and sensors
One year following Faraday Future’s highly anticipated launch at CES, the automaker startup returned to reveal their first production vehicle. The FF 91 (“nine one”) Faraday says represents a car that will ‘reformat the future of mobility’. Those are pretty grand claims from a company that over the past year has struggled with financial issues, the halting of construction of its factory, and the departure of top executives including recently their ‘global CEO.’ But those issues aside, Faraday is forging ahead and beginning to take orders for the FF 91 through their website.
So what’s new and different about the FF 91? For one thing, the overall shape doesn’t quite fit any existing category of car. It isn’t quite a sedan, nor does the long length make it a wagon and it isn’t tall enough to resemble a crossover. The best description is probably a stretched-out version of Tesla’s Model X.
As you might assume, there are lots of tech features incorporated throughout the vehicle. The FF 91 is aiming to be the first production vehicle with retractable 3D lidar, a camera system critical to autonomous driving. There’s also 10 high-definition static cameras, 13 long and short-range radar points and 12 ultrasonic sensors hidden around the exterior. These systems will provide hands-free driving as well as parking the FF 91 in a space without anyone having to be inside the car.
Accessing the interior is a bit different with the FF 91 as well. Faraday has created a system called the Arrival Interface which relies on facial recognition to unlock the car without a key—a small display on the exterior window pillar acknowledges the driver and can automatically tune the car’s systems to their preferences.
The exterior lighting was designed to offer communication cues while the vehicle was both in motion and parked. Patterns in the rocker panel increase in illumination as a driver approaches the FF 91. The exterior lighting can also communicate charging status and alert other drivers and pedestrians when the vehicle is in autonomous driving mode.
The all electric FF 91 is driven by a multi-motor system that includes rear wheel steering, a good thing for a vehicle this big. Faraday says the FF 91 can achieve a range of 378 miles. Faraday describes the ride as a mix of supercar performance and handling with the comfort of a luxury passenger vehicle.
For a first production car, there’s a lot promised with the FF 91 especially on the autonomous systems side. Whether Faraday can smooth out its internal issues remains to be seen. Faraday is planning to begin production in 2018. But with essentially no way of seeing the FF 91 in person at this time, for most potential customers, a deposit is a leap of faith.
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