One of China’s biggest automobile manufacturers also has big ambitions for space.
Zhejiang-based Geely Holding Group announced in late March that it will establish a commercial aerospace company in Guangzhou’s southern district of Nansha.
The local government said the new company will be set up to develop its satellite ad communications technologies, as cited by Reuters.
Geely is in the process of building low-orbit satellites to deliver quick software updates to its vehicles via high-speed connectivity. Its vehicles are expected to have more functions created to connect to their satellite network by 2025.
Geely, which owns Volvo Cars and has a stake in Daimler AG, will name its new company Shikong Tansuo and will be a part of a larger ‘space cluster’ in Nansha district.
The automaker is positioning its space business to assist in the rollout of self-driving cars by developing a low Earth orbit constellation for navigation, connectivity and communications, according to Space News.
Geely vehicles. Image via Geely
Guangzhou has become a pilot city for autonomous vehicles in recent years. WeRide recently announced that its Robotaxi fleet will be opening up in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district – a much more urban area compared to its operations in Huangpu district.
Geely saw a 32% decrease in net profit in 2020, as auto sales were impacted by the pandemic. The company is preparing to launch a new electric vehicle brand called Zeekr – a joint venture with its parent company.
[Cover image via Space News h/t Geely]