HANGZHOU, China and SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Dec. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Geely Holding Group’s (Geely) premium electric brand, Zeekr, will collaborate with Waymo on the development of a new pure electric vehicle for deployment in the Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing fleet in the United States.
Developed at Zeekr R&D Labs
The new purpose-built mobility vehicle is being designed and developed at Zeekr’s R&D facility, CEVT (China Europe Vehicle Technology Centre) in Gothenburg, Sweden which has a proven track record in developing class leading vehicles for the wider Geely Holding Group. Under this collaboration, Zeekr will be designing and developing the future vehicle on a new proprietary and open-source mobility architecture. Waymo will take delivery of the vehicles in the United States and will then integrate its fully autonomous Waymo Driver into the vehicle platform.
The new vehicle will be designed to be rider-centric from the outset, setting a new benchmark for autonomous vehicles. The new Zeekr vehicle has been designed for autonomous use-cases and will come with a fully configurable cabin, both with and without driver controls, that can be tailored towards rider requirements for the Waymo One unmanned ride-hailing fleet in the US.
Zeekr was founded in early 2021 as a global technology-mobility brand with design and engineering resources in Sweden. The first model from Zeekr, the 001, was introduced in April 2021 with deliveries starting in October of the same year.
Zeekr is a new electric mobility technology and solutions brand satisfying the global demand for premium electric vehicles.
User Integrated Ecosystem
Zeekr is committed to being a user-driven tech company. The brand will create a new ecosystem focused on innovation with users at the centre of operations. Through its unique business model, the brand will break the boundaries between users and brand with innovations driven by user experiences, the user ecology, and user shareholding plan.
As well as utilizing Geely’s leading Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), Zeekr will have its own battery technologies, battery management systems, electric motor technologies and electric vehicle supply chain support. By utilizing SEA technologies, Zeekr vehicles will be able to offer software upgrades throughout the lifetime of every vehicle through Over the Air Upgrades as well as offering an unrivalled luxury vehicle experience in terms of comfort and performance.
About Zeekr Brand Owner, Geely
The Group at a Glance
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (“Geely Holding” / “the Group”) was founded in 1986. In 1997, Geely Holding entered the automotive industry and has since focused our core business on the development and production of automobiles. Geely has continued to grow with a focus on continuous technological innovation, talent development, and strengthening core competitiveness, all the while staying committed to sustainable development.
Since 2012, Geely Holding has ranked among the Fortune Global 500 for ten consecutive years (ranked 239th in 2021) with assets totaling over 480 billion RMB, and more than 120,000 global employees. Geely Holding ranked 9th in Brand Finance’s Auto Portfolio Brand Value 2021— the only Chinese auto group on the list.
Geely Holding is committed to becoming a globally competitive and influential smart electric mobility technology enterprise and energy service provider, engaged in the passenger vehicle, commercial vehicle, mobility services, digital technology, financial services, and education.
Headquartered in Hangzhou, Geely Holding today owns and manages a number of brands: Geely Auto, Lynk & Co, ZEEKR, Geometry, Volvo Cars, Polestar, Lotus, London Electric Vehicle Company, Farizon Auto, and Cao Cao Mobility.
Quotes / What they say.
Andy An, CEO Zeekr Technology: “Zeekr was born on the ideals of equality, diversity, and sustainability. By becoming a strategic partner and vehicle supplier to the Waymo One fleet, we will be able to share our experience, ideals and provide our expertise in collaborating on a fully electric vehicle that fits Waymo’s requirements for this rapidly expanding segment in the global market for sustainable travel.”
What is an Autonomous Vehicle
You may be forgiven for thinking that this is the dawn of the age of The Transformers, but it is slightly more mundane than that, if not almost as exciting from a human perspective.
According to TWI Interactive, autonomous vehicles can be described as follows:
An autonomous vehicle utilises a fully automated driving system in order to allow the vehicle to respond to external conditions that a human driver would manage.
According to TWI:
There are six different levels of automation and, as the levels increase, the extent of the driverless car’s independence regarding operation control increases.
At level 0, the car has no control over its operation and the human driver does all of the driving.
At level 1, the vehicle’s ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) has the ability to support the driver with either steering or accelerating and braking.
At level 2, the ADAS can oversee steering and accelerating and braking in some conditions, although the human driver is required to continue paying complete attention to the driving environment throughout the journey, while also performing the remainder of the necessary tasks.
At level 3, the ADS (advanced driving system) can perform all parts of the driving task in some conditions, but the human driver is required to be able to regain control when requested to do so by the ADS. In the remaining conditions, the human driver executes the necessary tasks.
At level 4, the vehicle’s ADS is able to perform all driving tasks independently in certain conditions in which human attention is not required.
Finally, level 5 involves full automation whereby the vehicle’s ADS is able to perform all tasks in all conditions, and no driving assistance is required from the human driver. This full automation will be enabled by the application of 5G technology, which will allow vehicles to communicate not just with one another, but also with traffic lights, signage and even the roads themselves.
One of the aspects of the vehicle technology used in automated vehicles is ACC, or adaptive cruise control. This system is able to adjust the vehicle’s speed automatically to ensure that it maintains a safe distance from the vehicles in front of it. This function relies on information obtained using sensors on the vehicle and allows the car to perform tasks such as brake when it senses that it is approaching any vehicles ahead.
This information is then processed and the appropriate instructions are sent to actuators in the vehicle, which control the responsive actions of the car such as steering, acceleration and braking. Highly automated vehicles with fully automated speed control are able to respond to signals from traffic lights and other such non-vehicular activities.