Chinese EV maker announces satellite constellation to support new cars

As per a report, Geespace will put as many as 72 satellites into orbit by 2025.
Ameya Paleja
Geespace satellite
Geespace satellite

Geely Global  

Geely, a Hangzhou, China-based electric vehicle (EV) maker, announced that it would launch its satellite constellation to support a new range of cars it recently launched. The vehicles will receive intelligent driving assistance directly from orbit.

In the U.S., Elon Musk has an EV-making company, a satellite-making, and a launching company that provides internet services. However, the products and services of these companies have not been integrated so far. China-based Geely might be onto something big that the likes of Tesla would probably like to build upon in the future.

Geely's foray into aerospace

According to the company, Geely established its space-focused arm dubbed Geespace in 2018 to build a satellite network providing autonomous driving solutions. By 2022, the company had finished a satellite building factory and put nine satellites in orbit. Now, Geely is stepping up its plans.

Last month, the company recently released its Yinhe or Galaxy line of electrified and fully electric cars. It has now set itself a target to launch a satellite constellation that will provide intelligent driving functionality for this line of vehicles.

As per the report, Geespace will put as many as 72 satellites into orbit by 2025, which is the project's first phase. Details of future phases have not been released for now. The constellation will also tap into the Beidou navigation and positioning system, China's alternative to the GPS, to provide positioning services without blind spots. The company claims the positioning system will be accurate down to a centimeter.

Chinese EV maker announces satellite constellation to support new cars
Satellite networks can bind automotive, aerospace and communication industries

Considering the geopolitical conditions and the U.S. ban on technologies supplied to China, Geely will deploy self-developed chips, operating systems, cloud computing, and satellite networks while deploying its constellation.

Interestingly, the positioning system being used in the system is one-directional, and the satellite constellation does not collect data on the user's location. Instead, it provides the necessary data so that the intelligent cockpit in the vehicle can determine its location, helping users maintain their privacy.

Unlike Tesla's use of mobile networks to download and stream content, the satellite constellation will not support content playouts. Instead, it will only support features that assist driving, such as lane-level navigation and automatic parking, among other features. The company intends to develop the technology further to deliver a fully autonomous driving system.

Geely also wants to tap into China's Tiantong-1 mobile communication satellites in geostationary orbit through this constellation. According to the company, the integration of aerospace, automobile, and the information and communication industry has become inevitable. an

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