Satellites Launched to Guide Self-Driving Cars

Geely, the automotive manufacturer behind the satellite launch, boasts prominent brands like Volvo, Polestar and Lotus in its portfolio

Graham Hope

February 6, 2024

2 Min Read

Chinese auto manufacturing giant Geely has launched more satellites into space to help guide autonomous cars.

The company confirmed it has sent up 11 low-earth orbit satellites to join its Geely Future Mobility Constellation Network.

The dispatch was made by Geespace, a subsidiary of the Geely Technology Group, and marked the second group of satellites to be launched, following an initial deployment in June 2022.

As before, they were launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

The Future Mobility Constellation project has been hailed by Geely as the world’s first commercial initiative to integrate communication, navigation and remote sensing within a single satellite network.

The satellites, which are also made by Geespace, can provide highly precise “centimeter-level” positioning and connectivity support for vehicles in the Geely portfolio, assisting with automated and autonomous driving.

The Hangzhou-based giant has several familiar brands under its wing, including Volvo, Polestar and Lotus, but at present it is its Chinese market models that are benefiting from the tech, with the ZEEKR 001 FR, ZEEKR 07 and Geely Galaxy E8 all equipped with satellite communication functionality.

With 11 new satellites joining the nine sent up 18 months ago, Geely will now have a total of 20 in operation, but this merely constitutes the start of what is an ambitious program.

Related:Automaker Launches Satellites to Guide Autonomous Cars

By 2025, Geespace hopes to have a total of 72 satellites deployed, while a second phase is also planned which will extend the network to 168 satellites.

Other industries are set to benefit, too. Geely says the satellites can enhance connectivity in the consumer electronics sector, and come equipped with AI remote-sensing functions, providing 1-5 meter clear high-resolution remote sensing imaging, which can play a major role in ecological environment monitoring.

China’s satellite network had traditionally been dominated by the military until a decade ago when the sector was opened up to private enterprise. Since then, Geely has led the way in developing communications for the automotive sector.

In recent years, China’s authorities have highlighted the need for the country to develop a more integrated network of satellites for navigation, remote sensing and communications.

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About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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