Faraday Future To Test Autonomous Cars In Michigan

JUN 11 2016 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 7

FFZERO1 Concept

Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept (new colorization from Auto China)

California’s futuristic vehicle start-up, Faraday Future, is working to set up driverless car testing on Michigan public roads. The company reached out to Kirk Steudle, Michigan Department of Transportation director, asking for information on the application process for manufacturer license plates, allowing for autonomous automotive testing.

FFZERO1 Concept Interior Showing Mobile Connectivity

FFZERO1 Concept Interior Showing Mobile Connectivity

Faraday has already applied for three such plates. In Michigan, companies must simply apply for and acquire manufacturer license plates in order to initiate the testing. Also, proof of insurance and a registration fee are required.

A Faraday spokesperson did not say anything specific regarding autonomous testing. However, an email statement reads:

“The plates will be used to help test various FF-vehicle prototypes and features. We cannot comment on the specifics of those tests at this time.”

The company has already been testing “mules” for a year now in California, Michigan, and other undisclosed areas. This is all pre-prototype testing of drivetrain and chassis. Faraday doesn’t currently have a working prototype and didn’t specify to The Detroit News when one may become a reality. But, senior VP of R&D for Faraday, Nick Sampson, recently told Business Insider:

“We’re testing both mechanical and software systems, and before the end of this year, we’ll have full prototypes that represent our production cars.”

Michigan has issued tens of thousands of manufacturer plates. There is no record showing what companies are specifically using them for, or what testing is taking place. The state also allows companies with out-of-state manufacturer plates to test cars within the state.

Michigan Secretary of State spokesman, Fred Woodhams, confirmed that not only Faraday Future, but three other companies have recently applied for manufacturer plates for autonomous vehicle testing. The companies listed are University of Michigan, Quantum Signal tech company, and auto supplier Dura. Ford Motor Co. as well as many others already have the plates and autonomous testing has been underway.

Source: The Detroit News

Categories: Faraday Future

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7 Comments on "Faraday Future To Test Autonomous Cars In Michigan"

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Sort of off topic, but yesterday I saw a Chevy Bolt in the wild in a Michigan parking lot not far from the GM Proving Grounds. A couple guys were in the car on laptops and one guy was on the phone outside the car.

I recognized the gentleman on the phone was Bolt Chief Engineer Josh Tavel.

I took a photo but didn’t stop to bother him since he was busy. When I came out of the store the Bolt was gone.

Sadly, I thought the Bolt looked worse in person than photos. It’s just another boring econobox. The Volt 2.0 on the other hand I believe looks much better in person. Sigh.

Yes its sad that GM took the concept Bolt’s nice looks and they basically changed it to almost generic econobox looks.

Then they took off the interesting glass roof and lo and behold, Tesla shows their Model 3 with a glass roof, badda bing, badda boom!

I have a family member who works at GM’s tech center. He says it’s routine for the stylists to create a beautiful, sexy clay model and then some GM exec will see it, whine about it being too bold or not looking like a GM car, and this repeats until the prototype is just another boring GM car.

Don’t you need to be a manufacturer to obtain manufacturer license plates?

The article says:

“Faraday doesn’t currently have a working prototype…”

And people take me to task for calling this a vaporware company.

*sigh*

For years I followed the story of EESTor, a company which claimed to have a breakthrough, orders of magnitude improvement, super-duper supercapacitior; claimed to have the tech which would make them possible and affordable to use to power mass produced BEVs.

But the #1 sign that the company was a scam was that it never did show anyone outside the company a working prototype. And guess what? Evidence did eventually come out, after several years of watching and much speculation, that all the major claims from the company were false.

Of course, that’s not proof that Faraday Future is a scam. But the publicly available evidence points rather strongly in that direction.

I’m not convinced it’s a scam. I agree it doesn’t look like a real company that might become relevant, but I think it could be incompetent rather than fraudulent.

To my mind, it seems like Faraway Future 😉 is taking a classical waterfall approach. So they are trying to plan everything and work out all the solutions and designs up front, and then make the product. The problem with this sort of approach is that it’s both unrealistic and completely lacking in feedback. It’s very clear the company isn’t bootstrapping and learning to spend money efficiently. Instead it’s throwing huge sums of money around before it has ANYTHING resembling a product. It’s just an IDEA apparently at this point! Compare this to how Tesla made the Roadster and had customers, revenue and of course a product long before it got a factory – which it paid very little for. Faraway looks instead like a rich but dumb kid who is showing off his money but doesn’t even realize everybody else sees right through him…

Well said, Terawatt, and I entirely agree that’s a rational alternative scenario. I may be biased in favor of seeing scams by too many years of reading and posting to TheEEStory forum.

Here’s hoping I’m wrong about Faraway Faraday Future. (Yeah, I’ve used that pun too!)