Hughes Thinks Inside the Box

A new telematics system may give troubled Chrysler the smartest cars on the road

3 min read

In a month or so, the financially strapped company soon to be formerly known as Chrysler will roll its 2010 models into its remaining showrooms. Some will carry a nondescript box, about the size of a high school textbook, that will ”change the way we relate to our cars.”

Or at least so says Tom Taylor, vice president for engineering development at Atlanta-based Hughes Telematics. To show how the device will ”become an entity in the life of the person in the vehicle,” Taylor pulled up to IEEE Spectrum’s New York City offices in an SUV outfitted with the game-changing hardware. Soon enough, I wished I was in the market for a high-end vehicle—that’s where envy-inducing technologies debut, long before they trickle down to the cars a tech journalist can afford.

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Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

4 min read
A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy

In October, a startup called Jidu Automotive, backed by Chinese AI giant Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely, officially released an autonomous electric car, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition. In 2023, the car will go on sale.

At roughly US $55,000, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition is a limited edition, cobranded with China’s Lunar Exploration Project. It has two lidars, a 5-millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 high-definition cameras. It is the first vehicle to offer on-board, AI-assisted voice recognition, with voice response speeds within 700 milliseconds, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip.

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