China is making a significant hole in the electric car market in Europe. However, within the eastern country itself, his vision goes one step further and they are already preparing the launch of their next generation of cars, which will be fully autonomous. To provide more accurate navigation to these, from the Geely company have already launched their first nine low orbit satellites, which will provide the aforementioned coverage. These are the first of a future worldwide satellite network, which will become effective in the coming years.
Today, Tesla is the only car company that can say that it has a constellation of satellites thanks to its sister company, SpaceX and its Starlink network, which has more than 2,000 satellites in orbit to offer an internet network, as well as other commercial coverage services. For the next few years, Starlink will have a total of 4,408 satellites. However, a prominent Chinese company such as Geely also wants to have its own satellite network for which it has already taken a first step and is positioned as the second major automaker to have a space department.
From Geely they have ensured that their satellites, in the first instance, will be responsible for providing a much more concise positioning network to its fleet of fully autonomous vehicles. Likewise, they have also admitted that these satellites will have other purposes far from their automobile industry and are already talking about internet coverage, as well as other commercial functions with the Asian Games that will be held next September.
the chinese company used a Long March 2C rocket for launch developed and operated by a state entity of the eastern country. The nine satellites were attached to said space vehicle and, once it reaches its optimal point, they will detach from said rocket and begin their coverage work for the automobile company. According to the company’s directors, these satellites have an operational lifespan of around five years. Once their life cycle is over, they will begin their fall to Earth where they will disintegrate as they enter the atmosphere without causing damage to the surface and without adding new debris to the orbit of our planet.
A historical moment of the first nine Geespace satellites launched. 63 more are expected to be placed in orbit by 2025. pic.twitter.com/O3kiMeuJt8
— Geely Group (@GeelyGroup) June 2, 2022
Currently, China’s satellite network is entirely dominated by the country’s own military, but in recent years the state government has opened up access to private investment in China’s space industry. Since then there have been many requests for releases from various companies, although Geely has been the first to carry out this action within the Chinese automotive sector.
In the plan presented by Geely for the coming years, the intention to launch a complete network of said satellites is clear for communication, remote sensing and navigation in their autonomous cars which will be available from the middle of this same decade. Said satellite network will consist of more than 400 satellites by the year 2025.
Let us remember that Geely is currently the largest investor and owner of companies such as Smart, Volvo, Polestar or Lotus, among others. In these brands the presence of electric vehicles is increasing, although the next step will be the transformation of mobility towards complete autonomy. Current cars can receive internet coverage through their own mobile phone towers, but in order to carry out a totally autonomous and generalized circulation, everything must be increased, which is why the greatest precision of the location in real time is necessary, something that can only be achieved through the implementation of satellite technology.