SAIC Motor targets at leading future auto life
At a critical period of technological advancement, market evolution and industrial transformation, SAIC Motor Corp Ltd (SAIC Motor) has been pushing forward innovation-driven development to improve its core competitiveness, with a focus on promoting four trends - electrification, connection, intelligence and sharing.
SAIC Motor displayed one of its intelligent-driving vehicles – MG iGS on April 6 in Jiading district, Shanghai, showcasing the functions of auto direction changing, auto navigation and dual control. At a forum themed around “Eyes on Future” on April 7, a group of technicians and leaders from SAIC Motor shared their insights on the company’s four trends.
Keen on the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), electric vehicle (EV) and fuel cell technologies, SAIC Motor has launched over 10 passenger and business vehicles. Meanwhile, its Electric Drive Unit (EDU) highlights low energy cost, placing first at the 2016 China Automotive S&T Award Ceremony. The company’s self-owned battery management system (BMS) takes the lead in the country with its high security and low attenuation. Besides, the fuel consumption level of the electrical control system is among the world’s best. In 2016, sales of new energy vehicles under SAIC’s self-owned brands increased 84 percent year-on-year to surpass 25,000 units. In 2017, SAIC Motor plans to launch more new brands to improve the new energy vehicle sales to over 80,000 units.
Cars on internet
SAIC Motor has partnered up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to jointly build “cars on the internet”. Their cooperated product - Roewe RX5, the world’s first Internet-connected SUV, has caught people’s eyes since its launch, with monthly sales of 20,000 units. Furthermore, SAIC Motor has combined the service platform with vehicle products to build differentiation advantage. So far, its internet car services cover finance, insurance, parking, maintenance, navigation, music, charging and sharing. This year, SAIC Motor will unveil a string of new products, including MG ZS, Roewe i6 and Maxus T60.
Intelligent driving car
SAIC Motor has completed the development of two generations of intelligent vehicle platforms, and also conducted research on the technology of self-driving on highways and in urban areas. As the only platinum member of 5G Automotive Association in Asia, SAIC Motor is working with Huawei on the V2X (vehicle-to-everything communication) based on the 5G communications technology.
SAIC and Tongji University have jointly built China’s first intelligent assessment base, occupying an area of 91 hectares. The base’s testing area provides simulation of more than 100 traffic scenes.
SAIC Motor has founded the Global Car Sharing & Rental Co Ltd to offer the timeshare leasing services of electric cars. As of 2016, the car-sharing company launched 8,400 new energy cars and built 2,800 stations in 20 cities. The registered member number has exceeded 450,000, with monthly orders topping 280,000. The service is scheduled to cover 100 cities in 2020, with 300,000 vehicles. The Global Car Sharing & Rental Co Ltd will focus on the technologies of auto charging, intelligent parking and solar energy storage to build itself as a world-class timeshare rental service provider of new energy vehicles.
Apart from technology research, SAIC Motor has promoted the seed fund and employee stock ownership programs to foster the innovation atmosphere in the company. The seed fund allows employees to make innovative research and even start their own business, while the employee stock ownership program encourages staff to share profits, risks and responsibilities.
In addition, SAIC Motor has set up a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley and an innovation center in California, which concentrate on intelligent driving, internet cars, self-driving, and software projects. And another innovation center in Israel revolves around internet security, software algorithm and Internet on Things.
SAIC Motor’s efforts on improving competitiveness also includes cooperation with universities, such Fudan, Tongji and Jiao Tong universities, Stanford University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, to make joint research on internet cars, intelligent vehicles and artificial intelligence.
In the future, SAIC Motor will continue with efforts to develop foresight technologies, transform itself into a world-famous auto company with international competitiveness and brand influence, and contribute to the Chinese auto industry’s growth. It also aims to offer more energy-saving, comfortable, intelligent and safer products and services.