Several companies developing electric vehicle and self-driving technologies have used Tesla’s vehicles, whether it was to reverse engineer them, like Audi did with the Model X, or to work on new sensors and autonomous driving technologies, like Bosch did with a Model S for its self-driving program.
Now Faraday Future is using a Model X as part of its test program for its own electric and autonomous vehicle.
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A new heavily camouflaged FF91 prototype has been spotted this week on La Cienga in West Hollywood.
Even though the vehicle is equipped with several body panels to camouflage its appearance, we were able to confirm that it is indeed one of Faraday Future’s prototypes. A reliable source told us that it is part of the FF91 beta prototype fleet.
Darren (weho662 on Twitter), who spotted the vehicle, told Electrek that it was following a Tesla Model X around closely.
The Model X was also equipped with the same rack with sensors as FF’s prototype:
It’s not clear what they are using the Model X for, but it could be to benchmark or for ground-truthing the sensors.
The company is working on one of the most
excessive extensive sensor suites for autonomous driving out of any program out there. They are talking about 35 different sensors:
“FF 91 will be the first production vehicle to feature retractable 3D lidar, a critical component to FF’s multi-layer redundancy features for autonomous driving. Lidar is part of a complex sensor system including 10 high definition cameras, 13 long and short range radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors. FF 91 possesses significantly more sensors compared to other vehicles, and industry-leading computing power to quickly extract data from all those sensors and correct driving decisions.”
Faraday Future is pursuing its test program for the FF91 as it reportedly moving forward with construction at its factory in Nevada. They say that they are still aiming to bring the vehicle to production in 2019, but it would be surprising considering the early stage of construction at the plant.
Here’s a video of the prototype taken by Darren: