Chinese born automotive startup NIO (formerly named NextEV) unveiled today at SXSW currently being held in Austin (Texas) that its electric and level 4 self driving concept car NIO EVE will be available for consumers in the USA market by 2020.
The EVE is the second concept car unveiled by this startup after the test and development of its NIO EP9, claaimed to be the fastest electric and self driing car in the world.
Padmasree Warrior (CEO NIO USA) also announced that NIO in the United States is partnering with Mobileye, NVIDIA and NXP to achieve this and other objectives.
On the price of the NIO EVE, she said that this point will be unveiled closer to the launch date, but advanced that NEO is targeting with this concept vehicle the premium segment.
Level 4 AV car with an AI companion called NOMI
NIO EVE will be at the time of its market launch, she davanced, a Level 4 autonomy car , or what it is the same, a vehicle that can handle all aspects of driving in most conditions, even if a human driver doesn’t respond when asked to take over controls. But EVE can be driven by people as well.
Users can interact with their voices with NOMI the artificial intelligence engine that controls the car, and the steering wheel and other car leads are thought to retrect while at the self driving mode.
“We’re excited about having autonomous electric cars for U.S. consumers in 2020,” stated Padmasree Warrior, US CEO. “Today we also unveiled our vision for the car of the future, focused on delivering unmatched user experience through leading edge, software defined hardware.” Warrior continued, “In 2015, commuters in the U.S. spent over 8 billion hours in their cars commuting. NIO’s autonomous electric cars will make your journey safe, productive and enjoyable. Our cars will be your companion and will know your needs, they will be a welcoming living space that moves you. We look forward to producing the first of the next generation of cars for the U.S. consumer. We know you will be delighted by NIO.”
Designed from inside out
Chris Tomasson (creative head of NIO worldwide organisartion headquartered in München) explained thet NIO EVE has been designed fron inside out. looking first at the vehicle as a living space.
Doing away with conventional A and B pillars of the car and using optimized door cuts, the comfortable and inviting interior is accessed through a wide forward-sliding door. The fixed seats are belted and positioned to deliver flexibility and an enhanced feeling of openness. In the primary seating area, a discrete folding table creates work or play space, while a luxurious seat that reclines and allows for relaxation or even sleep.
The forward two seats, accessed from the main interior, enjoy an enhanced panoramic view, with digital displays provided on the active glass when needed to support non-autonomous driving.
A crystal transparent panoramic roof top allows the users enjoying outside wiews as well and lets natural light in the vehicle.
Padmasree Warrior underscored that in NIO’s vision, autonomous vehicles democratize mobility giving access to mobility to people who are not able to drive but need to do so. She also said that with autonomous driving vehicles NIO is paying their time back to the users allowing them do and be waht they want giving them more time to be productive, playful, etc…
NIO EP9 Supercar the first electric and autonomous driving concept by NIO
In November 2016, the company unveiled its electric supercar, the NIO EP9, which achieved a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschliefe. On October 12 2016, the EP9 lapped the 20.8km ‘Green Hell’ in 7m 05.12s, beating the previous EV lap record held, making it the fastest electric car in the world. Additionally, on November 4, it smashed the EV record at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, recording a time of 1m 52.78s, eclipsing the previous record of 2m 40s.
On February 23, the NIO EP9 drove autonomously without any interventions, recording a time of 2m 40.33s at a top speed of 160 miles per hour. The same day, the NIO EP9 also beat the fastest COTA lap time for a production car, achieving a lap time of 2m 11.30s and reaching a top speed of 170 miles per hour.
With four high-performance inboard motors and four individual gearboxes, the EP9 delivers 1-MegaWatt of power, equivalent to 1342BHP. The EP9 accelerates from 0-124 mph in 7.1 seconds and has a top speed of 194mph. With an interchangeable battery system, the EP9 is designed to be charged in 45 minutes and has a range of 265 miles.
NIO, formerly NextEV in the U.S., is a global start-up, designing and developing smart, high-performance, premium electric vehicles. NIO has thousands of world-class R&D and design experts from around the world with significant technology and management background from leading automobile and high tech companies. NIO has more than 2,000 employees in San Jose, Shanghai, Munich, London and eight other locations.
In October, NIO USA announced that it was issued an Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit by the California DMV and it would begin testing on public roads under the Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program guidelines as it progresses on its path to bring autonomy to market.
Investors include Tencent, Temasek, Sequoia Capital, Lenovo, TPG and other world-renowned investment institutions. The company is also involved in the FIA Formula Championship, the world’s first single-seater, all-electric racing series. The NextEV NIO Formula E team won the inaugural drivers’ championship title in 2015.
Image oer the headline.- NIO EVE unveiled at SXSW.© NIO
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