Chinese backed auto startup Faraday Future is hoping to take on electric car supremo Tesla with an intelligent electric vehicle. However, the car manufacturer was left red-faced when its driverless parking feature failed to work at CES 2017.
The FF 91 is set to become the first car in production for Faraday Future, a company that only launched in 2014.
The vehicle’s impressive list of features includes record-breaking acceleration time, super-fast charging, and driverless parking functionality.
This last feature is supposed to allow the car to autonomously park itself after the driver has exited, using a complex system of high definition cameras, radars and ultrasonic sensors.
Before the indoor demonstration, the crowd at CES had watched a camouflaged prototype parking itself outside of the venue without any problems.
It wasn’t until the car had to perform the same manoeuvre on stage that events took a turn for the worse.
When Faraday Future’s main backer, billionaire Jia Yueting, was asked to press the button that allowed the car to park itself, it didn’t move. You can see the video on The Daily Mail’s website here.
“As a new baby, she’s very very timid,’ said Nick Sampson, vice president of engineering.”
The problem was resolved after a few moments when a technician peered inside the vehicle, but many were left less than impressed.
Described by Faraday Future as “a new species”, the FF 91 offers a faster acceleration than Tesla’s Model S. The company claims it goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.39 seconds, while Tesla‘s takes 2.5 seconds.
The FF 91’s charging speed is also faster than any other car currently on the market according to the manufacturer, offering the ability to charge at more than 500 miles per hour. It claims to go up from 50 per cent to fully charged in 4.5 hours.
Other boasts include smart dimming glass technology, which allows drivers to vary their privacy and shade, and a flexible powertrain system – the mechanism that transmits the drive from the engine to the car’s axle – which allows for improved safety and handling.
According to the firm, the car is also designed to be the ‘world’s first truly connected car,’ using touch or voice control to access messaging, audio, and apps. It can even make for seamless transition of content across different screens, allowing you to move from your living room to your car without pausing.
On board are two aerodynamic antennae that function as a WiFi connection system and a number of modems, making it the ‘most convenient hotspot on Earth.’ There’s also an ‘immersive’ HD screen to stream content. The car learns continuously through its own artificial intelligence, and adapts to the driver’s preferences.
Like Tesla, Faraday Future is based in California, and launched with the aim to offer a “new breed of electric mobility”. The company is now accepting fully refundable reservations for the FF 91 for $5,000. It is expected to retail for around $180,000.