Geely has been looking like a powerhouse lately, making game-changing moves one after another in its quest to become one of the world's preeminent automakers.
The Chinese company has entered collaborations with several high-profile industry names, the latest of which is with Intel, the largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue. Intel's Mobileye subsidiary is based in Israel and develops advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) for autonomous or self-driving cars.
Mobileye and Geely's Zeekr brand will work together to bring a new self-driving car to the Chinese market, perhaps as early as 2024. The vehicle will be a full-fledged electric vehicle (EV) with Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities. This level means that the car will be capable enough to take complete control of driving duties under certain situations.
Geely will reportedly build the new vehicle under its Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), which features redundancy systems for power, steering, and braking. Mobileye's contributions will be exhaustive, composed of AV systems like its EyeQ5 system-on-a-chip architecture and Road Experience Management (REM) system that uses real-time data to build a global 3D map.
As of now, there is no full self-driving car available for purchase by consumers. There are autonomous vehicles from companies like Google-owned Waymo, which Geely has also partnered with, but these models are limited to fleet use and commercial applications. Tesla has touted self-driving tech for a while, but it only ever has deployed Level 2 ADAS for its vehicles.
So, there's a lot at stake for Geely and Intel. This project could lead to the first mass-market self-driving car, and that's not something to be taken lightly. It's not clear if Geely plans to use the Zeekr 001 for the project or if a brand new vehicle is in the cards. In any case, we'll find out more once we get closer to the reported 2024 release date.
A lot of things could change between now and then. While Geely's most popular local model is currently the Coolray, who knows, we could be buying self-driving cars a couple of years down the line.