LeEco held a press conference in San Francisco to showcase a number of products from smartphones to video streaming services to smart bikes. It was also supposed to unveil an updated self-driving EV concept, a grand reveal that would have played out with the car driving company CEO Yueting Jia onto the stage. Unfortunately, the reveal didn’t go as planned, but we still gathered a few interesting tidbits about LeEco’s plans for autonomous cars, as well as the plans of its partner company, Faraday Future.
LeEco’s autonomous car concept is the LeSee Pro, which was set to make its U.S. unveiling. But that didn’t happen because it was delayed shooting in London for the upcoming “Transformers 5” movie. It had also planned to bring its older LeSee concept on stage, but that car was damaged in transit from L.A. to the San Francisco area in an accident.
The company describes it as a car that’s like your living room or office, complete with screens that use LeEco’s streaming and technology platform to allow drivers to access everything from music, movies, or even financial data. But during the presentation, the company revealed it’s currently focused on Level 3 or “conditional automation,” which according to SAE’s definition, expects the driver to be able to intervene if necessary. A folding steering wheel makes it clear the car isn’t fully autonomous. During the conference, the company also shared its vision for ride sharing, where drivers can return their EVs from their cell phone.
Jia Yueting let slip some possible news about his company’s partner, Faraday Future. He said FF would perhaps debut a production car at next year’s Consumer Electronics Show. How official those plans were, we couldn’t tell. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise, though, given the company debuted the FFZero1 concept there this year. Add to that the fact we’ve already seen a vehicle that’s likely a Faraday Future mule running around L.A. That vehicle didn’t look like a traditional sedan, but rather a crossover or high-riding vehicle of some sort.