The Chinese brand Zeekr unveils new information on its electric sports car, the 001 FR. The competitor to the Tesla Model S Plaid is indeed equipped with new technology in current cars. This is satellite connectivity. We’ll explain what it’s for.
Do you know Zeekr? If this is not the case yet, remember this name. Indeed, the young Chinese brand was founded in 2021 but has already unveiled several models. Among them, the 009, a large luxury minivan as well as the X and the 001, which will soon be sold in Europe and which recently revealed its prices in Germany.
A little-known technology
The electric sedan, whose range will reach 1,000 kilometers according to the Chinese CLTC cycle, seemed to have already revealed all its information in recent months. And for good reason, the latter was officially unveiled last year, during the Shanghai show. But obviously, she was still keeping a few secrets for later. And one of them has just been revealed by the manufacturer.
It was on X (formerly Twitter) that the latter unveiled a short video, announcing new technology on its 001, rival of the Tesla Model S and the BYD Seal, among others. But what is it about? Well the electric sedan in very high performance FR version will be equipped with satellite connectivity. A first for a vehicle produced on a large scale, as recalled by the Chinese brand which will compete with Nio or even Xpeng here.
But concretely, what will it change? Lots of things. Firstly, it will allow the infotainment system and all connected features to work even in the absence of cellular network. This will be particularly useful in the countryside, in white areas that are not yet covered. But that’s not all, because it could also improve security.
For the record, when there is no network, it is impossible tocall for help in the event of an accident, whether from your smartphone or the car’s emergency call button. With this technology based on satellite technology, no more worries since it will be possible to make a call anywhere on earth. Zeekr specifies that owners of 001 will also be able to send messages using this feature.
Soon at Tesla?
Internet access in the car will also be faster, whileGPS navigation will be even more precise depending on the brand. The latter also confirms that the vehicle will be able to transform into a 4G and 5G mobile station, allowing you to benefit from the connection on your smartphone, even when there is no antenna nearby. But for the moment, not everyone will be able to benefit from this technology.
And for good reason, Zeekr specifies that only the 001 FR, the most efficient version of the sedan unveiled a few days ago will be compatible for the moment. The website Karmactive also recalls that the manufacturer plans to launch no less than 72 dedicated satellites in space by 2025, in order to be able to operate its technology. But the brand is not the only one interested in the latter.
This is indeed also the case for Tesla. In August 2022, Elon Musk announced the upcoming arrival of Starlink V2, which could offer Internet access via satellites to cars in its range. This was planned for this year, but for the moment, we have no news yet, the firm being undoubtedly already very busy with the launch of the restyled Model 3, unveiled at the Munich show a few days ago.
It remains to be seen whether the latter is already compatible with this technology or whether improvements will be made later, perhaps via remote OTA update. For now, the brand’s cars include a 4G modem and depend on the cellular network, like all other cars on the market. However, Elon Musk had announced a very low speed, only 2 to 4 Mb/s.
You should also know that Apple has already been offering satellite connection on its iPhone 14 in France since the end of last year, while Samsung is also working on it for its part. It could be integrated into the future Galaxy S24 as early as next year.
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