While most of the news coming from LeEco's event in San Francisco was about new TVs and phones, the company's CEO, YT Jia made a point to show off his company's desire to become not just a consumer electronics brand but also an automaker. Unfortunately, the car couldn't make it onto the stage.
The original LeSee was involved in an accident on its way from LA while the LeSee Pro was delayed on its way back from London where it was being used by Michael Bay (Yeah, that Michael Bay) as part of the new Transformers movie.
The concept car itself has no set price and there's no word on when it will actually launch. But in addition to being part of LeEco's hardware/content ecosystem, Jia noted that he has a very personal reason for building an electronic car. He wants to clear up the smog problem in China and has a "strong desire to bring back our blue skies."
The LeSee Pro eventually made it to the event location but not in time to make it onstage. Instead it was parked in the back of the demo area.
Still the CEO was disappointed that the ramp built for the LeSee Pro was going to be utilized. So to help ease the pain of not seeing the car under a bunch of flashing lights, Jia dropped some news about its partner Faraday Futures. The automaker would be introducing its first production car at next year's CES.
Meanwhile, the company kept pushing its ecosystem offerings that'll land in the car in addition to the company's phones, VR headset and TVs. "LeSee is not only a car, LeSee is an ecosystem for mobile connectivity," said Lei Ding, co-founder and global vice chairman of the LeEco SEE Plan.
But more important than being able to watch video in your car while it drives you around town, the LeSee Pro also has some very unique automobile features. For example, the front and back of the exterior changes colors to inform pedestrians and other drivers if the car is in autonomous mode, being driven or is car-share ready.
It also has a magnetic charging system that doesn't use the traditional level 2 port found on most other EV's. Instead owners can attach the cable to the area forward of the diver or passenger side door. Plus when the car is placed in autonomous mode, the steering wheel folds up and retreats into the dashboard.
It all sounds cool, but its important to remember that this is a concept car and the finished product will probably be less whimsical with it's light up hood and trunk. Plus, with the automotive market becoming more crowded every day and established tech companies like Apple struggling to break into the market, it'll be interesting to see how LeEco fares even with partners Aston Martin and Faraday Futures.
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