Faraday Future has just revealed its new car, the FF91 which will be their first production model. The event at CES is one of the most anticipated after the company talks a big game and so far has only announced a prototype race car, the FFZERO1.
Faraday’s VP of R&D and Engineering, Nick Sampson was on stage at CES 2017 and talked a big game about the technology company’s entry into the automotive industry. He says the industry and the planet needs disruption, doesn’t need conservatism and that the future is electric, intelligent, connected and shared.
He spoke of an experience where you can stream your favourite content in ‘immersive HD screens’. The car will feature multiple CAT6 LTE modems which Sampson suggests will allow you to connect to online or even services in your house. This is available to the driver (which suggests level 4 automation) and each passenger.
Faraday want to create a FFID – a unique ID for you. This will bring your personal settings to the car and your car will know who’s driving it based on a check to your phone which at some point you would have setup your ID and associated with yourself.
They also claim they have the most advanced autonomous technology. A claim which many like Tesla will undoubtedly question. They’re adding a retractable 3D lidar sensor to the center of the hood which is certainly unique.
To add to the 3D lidar sensors, there’s 10 front and rear facing cameras, 13 long and short range radars, 12 high performance ultrasonic sensors.
And now we get our first look at the car. The car looks like it takes cues from BMW’s i3/i8 and has an expected concept look to its appearance. The wrap wasn’t a great choice as it didn’t show off the rear of the vehicle, instead hid it from the audience.
The FF91 was demo’d during the event where it found a park for itself and reverse parked into the space. While it made for a good demo, if the car is going to park itself, we’re not sure why reverse parking is better than standard entry. Typically humans reverse park to make the exit easier, but if the computer is in charge, this really is redundant.
Faraday claim a massive 700km range and the fastest recharging on the market with claims of 804km (500 miles) per hour at the peak charge rate. The FF91 will feature 130kW battery that’s 30 more than the top Model S and with a peak power of 1050HP or 783kW, they’re all very impressive numbers. Just worth keeping in mind, none of these have shipped, so it’ll become a lot more believable when they ship product.
The company finally showed a video they’d been teasing for a while, where they compare it to other vehicles (most of which are not great comps). They claim the FF91 reaches 0-60mph in 2.44 seconds. Actually that was until they decided to tweak their software and go the fastest possible. They managed a very impressive 2.39 seconds from 0-60mph which creates 1.1 geforces through your body.
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) January 4, 2017
If this car ever ships, it’ll certainly be impressive in terms of performance and range.
He shot barbs at other auto makers, saying their developments are iterative and only they have truly changed the game.
Since 2014, they’ve filed 613 patents for cars, but double that in the IoT space. Given this was so prevalent in their presentation, it raises the question about how much revenue they believe they’ll derive from these patents (only a tiny percentage are currently approved).
Many are suspect about the company’s ability to actually ship product as rumours swell about their financial instability and global CEO stepping down in December.
At this point we have to take them at their word and assume they may well be the first new automotive company since Tesla to make a difference. They have a similar all-electric mentality and a very similar (almost copy+paste) idea of an extensible platform where the batteries lay close to the ground to enhance driving performance, while having the ability to ship multiple car designs on top of the large aluminium skateboard or VPA (Variable Platform Architecture) design.
The company with more than 1,400 employees is yet to ship a single product so while today’s announcements look good on paper, its only once their cars get in the hands of consumers, will the world and the industry take them seriously.