SHANGHAI: The Chinese automotive group Geely has announced the launch of its first satellites. The aim is to soon form a constellation dedicated to the smooth operation of the autonomous cars of the future.
Geespace, the Chinese carmaker's space subsidiary, has just launched 11 satellites into low-Earth orbit as part of its constellation project dedicated to Geely's future mobility solutions. This is a major first not only for China, but also for the automotive industry.
The satellites will be used for communication, navigation and remote sensing of vehicles produced by the group.
The aim is to be able to locate vehicles as precisely as possible (to the nearest centimetre), with a view to developing autonomous driving and making it more reliable.
Among the first models concerned are those under the automaker's new Zeekr high-end electric vehicle brand.
In addition to its Chinese brands, Geely also owns Lotus, Smart and Volvo.
By 2025, a total of 72 satellites should make up this constellation to serve these needs. A second phase is already in preparation to extend the network to 168 satellites.
This project is reminiscent of another low-orbit satellite constellation, Starlink, dedicated to universal internet access.