Geely Chairman Says Flying Cars to Launch in 2019
Li Shufu said Geely, Volvo and other car companies are jointly developing an open electric model under the code PMA. “We’ve learned from Google’s Android, and PMA’s pure electric module is open,” Li said.
The 2017 Global Future Mobility Forum was held recently at the Hangzhou International Expo Center. Geely Group Chairman Li attended the forum to speak about Geely’s road map for unmanned vehicles, new energy cars and flying cars.
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The ultimate goal is autonomous driving, but security is paramount, Li said. If [cars] are developed without safety guarantees, it will be difficult for users to accept autonomous driving.
The design of the Geely unmanned vehicle is conducted in partnership with Volvo and Uber. “We estimate that in next year, about 1,000 cars jointly produced by Uber and Volvo will be put on US market,” Li Shufu said.
Volvo has also partnered with Waymo, which is owned by Google. “Waymo is also studying unmanned vehicles, mainly their use of cloud technology, software and maps. Although they have cars running around to collect data, they can’t produce cars. Where will their cars come from? They have to find a car factory, and that’s what Volvo gave them,” Li said.
In terms of the layout in new energy vehicles, Li said Geely and Volvo, as well as other carmakers, are developing an open electric model whose code is PMA. “We learned from Google’s Android, and PMA’s pure electric module is open,” Li said.
Geely has also acquired Terrafugia, a US-based flying car company, and is expected to launch its first flying car in 2019. The first users will be Americans.
The following is a full transcript of Shufu Li’s speech:
The ultimate goal is autonomous driving, but security is paramount. If they are developed without safety guarantees, it will be difficult for users to accept autonomous driving. That’s why all of our research into automation technology is based on ensuring safety.
Uber is now working closely with Volvo. If Uber wants to make money, it must have unmanned cars, otherwise the labor cost will be too high. However, although unmanned driving is about the software and map technology, it is difficult for Uber to get the cars it wants. It couldn’t build a car factory, so the company had to work with one. Volvo is Uber’s main partner.
But how can cars and software fit well? It takes a lot of work. We estimate that in the next year, about 1,000 cars jointly produced by Uber and Volvo will be put into service in the United States.
Autoliv is the American automotive safety parts manufacturing company. We want to develop unmanned technology, unmanned security components and connect the components with auto factories. But if we lack a car factory support, it will be hard to develop spare parts for unmanned cars. Establishing a joint venture with Volvo is a good choice. Volvo offers the opportunity to license technology, set up a joint venture and offer self-driving technology to global auto factories.
Then there is Google Waymo, which is also studying unmanned vehicles, mainly their use of cloud technology, software and maps. Although they have cars running around to collect data, they can’t produce cars. Where will their cars come from? They have to find a car factory, and that’s what Volvo gave them. This basic model, combined with electronic software, can make it possible for users to accept driverless cars.
This is a real family in Gothenburg, Sweden. They are volunteers for unmanned driving. Some have signed contracts and learned how to have self-driving cars run on real roads rather than in a closed place.
Families willing to be volunteers will go from home to office every day, and from home to wherever they want to go. Through real road tests, we continuously accumulate the technology and data to expand the scope of unmanned driving. For instance, we start generally in the range of 50 to 60 kilometers, and then we expand the range to 100, 200, 300 kilometers, and then whole cities. We take in the information bit by bit, and the process is not easy.
That’s what it’s all about. What improvements can self-driving cars bring to everyone? What value can it bring to the passengers? It could make the passengers feel better. On average, people need to spend about 26 minutes on their commute. With self-driving cars, people can use that time for work or to do something creative. This basically works for everyone.
The Polestar, which was released in Shanghai a month or two ago, is produced in Chengdu. It is a high-performance and hybrid car. The upper body is made of carbon fiber and the lower body is aluminum and steel alloy. The lower body is the electric part with a controller inside. The torque of this car is 1,000 torsional meters, the output power is 600hp and it is a powerful performer.
This one is familiar. These are the London taxis, and plenty of them are extended range hybrid electric vehicles. The electric drive is about 150 kilometers. If adding extended range, it is 600 kilometers. In the financial center of London, all taxis will be electric. But outside that area most cabs will be hybrids. Any car that runs on the highway will use hybrid power.
Geely and Volvo, as well as other car companies, are jointly developing an open electric model whose code is “PMA”. What does it mean to be open? When we finish this architecture, we will open it to all the auto plants around the world. Everyone can use it. We will develop it and everybody could use it.
Of course it required us to make a heavy investment, so why is it available to everyone for free? It will ease the burden on research and development and shorten the development period to reduce purchase costs and improve efficiency. We learned from Google’s Android, and PMA’s electric module is open to all for free. All our data is open.
I believe this will be very important to support the development of electric vehicles in China and abroad. This PMA framework is divided into two open basic modules, PMA-1 and PMA-2, which have different sizes and levels and can cover almost all electric vehicles.
Our PMA is based on open architecture. The specific model we now are studying is LYNK&CO electric car, a joint venture of Geely and Volvo. The first car model has a 600 kilometer range and the second has a 450 kilometer one.
This is a Geely brand electric vehicle based on PMA architecture. We’ve developed a variety of models based on a series of modules, one framework and one core, so that we can reduce the purchasing cost.
Flying Cars in 2019, but First Users will be Americans
This is a flying car. People from the United States are also here today. Experts in the United States have spent more than a decade researching it. They couldn’t continue their work due to a lack of funds, so Geely reached an agreement two days ago after spending considerable energy and money. With the approval of the US Department of National Defense, Geely is being allowed to buy the company.
The first flying car will roll out in 2019. The users will be Americans because China has banned the technology. We are also ready to launch flying cars with vertical take-off and landing in 2023. This could solve problems with traffic jams. The picture is just a concept design. The cars we are developing still have a few difference from the picture.
I have shared so much information with you. All roads lead to the same destination. In the last part, leaders and experts spoke about how to solve traffic problems, how to realize intelligence, electrification and connection, how to solve traffic problems and how to bring convenience to users. In order to respond to and adapt to the changing trends of the automobile industry, we want to do what I have introduced above.
That’s all I would like to share with you. Wishing you good luck.