In a move that would come as a surprise to many, Chinese Automotive Giant Haval have announced they are expecting to have their first autonomous vehicle produced by 2020.
Known better in Australia as Great Wall, Haval – who is owned by Great Wall Motors, the largest SUV producer in China – has a bit of a storied history. Since being introduced to the world in 2013, they have had a number of vehicles slammed in numerous countries for their poor safety and reliability. But with vehicles starting at less than $30,000, they have a strong argument for dollar value.
Collaborating on their autonomous vehicle project with engineering teams in the USA, India and China, it is sure to be interesting, to say the least. Haval claims to have already reached Level 3 in autonomy, whereby the driver is still a necessary part of the vehicle operations but are able to completely shift “safety-critical functions” to the vehicle, under certain traffic or environmental conditions.
Drivers are still able to take control of the vehicle when needed but can rely on the car for a lot of the time. For reference, Tesla models are Level 5.
Haval Motors Chairman Wei Jianjun said the company would invest a further six billion dollars into a globalised research and development system by 2020 to keep the company at the cutting edge of automotive technology.
In addition to autonomous vehicles, the company is investing heavily in alternative fuel technology, focusing on plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. Again, interesting…
“We will continue to specialise in SUVs as we work toward our goal of being the biggest SUV brand in the world by 2020” Chairman Wei said in Baoding, China last month.
HAVAL has been the biggest-selling SUV brand in China since 2002. Last year its top-selling model – the H6 – was the fourth biggest selling SUV in the world with more than 580,000 units sold.
MotorFirma’s hot tip – what until version 2.0 comes out before rushing out to buy this one.