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Tesla rival Faraday Future shows off its first self-driving EV

Electric vehicle upstart Faraday Future has finally revealed the vehicle that it will be putting into production. The car was shown off at the CES trade show in Las Vegas last night.

Sadly the vehicle is not the futuristic concept car we saw revealed last year, the FFZERO1, but rather a more practical passenger vehicle dubbed the FF 91.

The vehicle is, as you might expect, powered by electricity but don’t think that its a slouch. The FF 91’s motor is able to generate 783kW of power which translates into 1050 horsepower. This means that when you put your foot down you’ll hit 60 mph (96 kmph) in just  2.39 seconds, from standstill.

The vehicle features a multi-motor setup which delivers torque to the rear wheels and makes the FF 91 an all-wheel drive car. Interestingly the rear wheels also have a small degree of steering which should, according to Faraday Future, give drivers greater control over the vehicle.

Range roving

The most important part of an electric vehicle to our mind is the range it offers. Switching fossil fuel for chemical filled batteries is the environmentally responsible thing to do but if you can only travel a few kilometres before running out of juice, well that’s just not going to work.

The FF 91 will house a 130kWh battery which is reportedly capable of driving the vehicle for 700km. That’s enough range to get you from Johannesburg to Durban and still have just over 100km of range left. Colour us impressed.

When the battery eventually runs flat Faraday Future says the included charger will bring the battery up to 50% in 4.5 hours at 240V.

The sticking point however is, what about charging stations? Faraday Future wasn’t forthcoming about plans to create a charging network such as Tesla envisions when quizzed by Cnet, for now then it seems you’ll have to carry your charging cable around with you.

Learning about you

Faraday Future has teamed up with LeEco to help the FF 91 learn from its owner. This is accomplished through something called an FFID account. This account gives the vehicle information about the driver such as their favourite music, the cabin temperature then might prefer and what movies they like.

A driver’s FFID would also allow them to open the car with their face thanks to facial recognition cameras located on the pillar between the front and back seats. The facial recognition software is also able to detect what mood a driver is in and will try to match the driving experience with the persons mood.

The car is also has some level of autonomous capability thanks to a 3D lidar system, 13 radars (long and short range) and 12 ultrasonic sensors. How well this will operate compared to Tesla’s Autopilot feature remains to be seen.

Now for the kicker, the cost. At time of writing there is no actual price tag for the FF 91 but you can reserve one for $5 000 (which can be refunded) if you happen to be in the US, Canada or China.

Production of the FF 91 is expected to start in 2018.

[su_box title=”Faraday Future FF 91 Specifications” box_color=”#f37021″]

Acceleration 0-60 mph in 2.39 seconds

Power 1050 HP

Range 378 miles (EPA est.) and over 700 km (NEDC est.)

Charging Speed More than 500 miles per hour

ADAS Sensor Suite 13 long and short range radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 10 high definition cameras, 1 3D retractable lidar

Length 206.7”/ 5250mm

Wheelbase 126″ / 3200mm

Width 89.9″ / 2283mm

Height 62.9” / 1598mm

Facial Recognition Technology

Driverless Valet Parking Feature: FF 91 can park itself

True Keyless Entry: first car where you don’t need a key

First class experience: NASA-inspired zero gravity seats offer industry leading rear seat reclining position

Best in class high-speed internet on the road

FFID: global user profile that travels with the user through the FF Ecosystem



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