AIWAYS PREVIEWS SECOND ALL-ELECTRIC VEHICLE CONCEPT AT AUTO SHANGHAI
- U7 ion concept shows future design direction and hints at new model to create a range of global all-electric vehicles
- AIWAYS’ latest concept designed to offer exceptional levels of intelligence, efficiency and comfort
- Production-ready all-electric U5 SUV due for delivery to European markets shortly
- U5 and future models to be manufactured at AIWAYS’ new state-of-the-art production plant in Shangrao (Jiangxi Province)
- AIWAYS founded in 2017 with the aim of providing affordable products that incorporate new levels of advanced vehicle technology not currently found on cars within the market
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Shanghai, 16 April, 2019 – AIWAYS, the Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, has unveiled a new all-electric car concept, the U7 ion, at Auto Shanghai 2019 today. The concept car is the latest step in AIWAYS’ ambition to provide a full range of fully-electric, highly intelligent vehicles for the global market, and follows the introduction of its production-ready U5 mid-size SUV into Europe at the Geneva International Motor Show last month.
The U7 ion concept premiers the company’s FRM concept, which stands for family, roomy mobility, aiming to bring people closer together. It demonstrates how AIWAYS’ design language will be developed under the direction of Chief Advisor of Design and Art, Ken Okuyama, with an increased focus on simplicity of design. It also premiers AIWAYS’ ‘fourth space’ interior concept, in which the car provides a sanctuary from busy modern life, while ensuring users remain seamlessly connected. The ‘fourth space’ is so called because family, work and leisure represent the first three spaces. The U7 ion concept offers an unprecedented level of in-car artificial intelligence (AI) and uses design and technology to offer high levels of personalisation, comfort and efficiency.
The U7 ion concept features an integrated self-learning robot, which can move around the interior of the vehicle to ensure occupants’ comfort at all times. The U7 ion concept uses a total of 12 screens throughout its interior, including a smart dashboard touchscreen integrated into the steering wheel, and a touchscreen built into a smart mobile console, which can travel around the cabin.
Joining the U7 ion concept on AIWAYS’ Auto Shanghai stand is the U5 SUV and Gumpert Nathalie.
The production-ready U5 is a statement of intent for AIWAYS as it aims to bring affordable, connected and local zero-emissions family transport to the European market. Built on AIWAYS’ innovative aluminium-steel More Adaptable Structure (MAS) platform, the U5 leads AIWAYS’ product offensive, which is expected to grow with one new model per year including a range of electric SUVs in both the compact and large segments.
The U5 brings together all of AIWAYS’ collective industry expertise into one innovative package, which is aimed at meeting the needs of discerning European buyers. The mid-size SUV offers style, premium build quality, connectivity, safety and 503 km battery range (NEDC).
In order to achieve these requirements, AIWAYS has invested heavily in the entire value chain of the U5. This begins with the newly established €1.7bn (£1.5bn) Shangrao production plant in Jiangxi Province, where the U5 will be manufactured, consists of a stamping plant, body and paint shop and final assembly line, integrating innovative technology throughout. Engineered to Industry 4.0 standards, it is currently able to produce 150,000 cars a year, with a second phase of expansion already planned to bring capacity to 300,000 units.
AIWAYS President, Samuel Fu (Fu Qiang), said: “Our presence at Auto Shanghai, from our new U7 ion concept and our production-ready U5 SUV to our impressive show stand, shows our drive and ambition to be a truly global mobility provider. While the U5 will go on sale in Europe in just a few months, the U7 ion concept previews the next exciting model in our product offensive. Across all our vehicles you will find a common thread – an enjoyable driving experience that caters to your lifestyle.”
AIWAYS was founded in 2017 by President Samuel Fu (Fu Qiang) and CEO Gary Gu (Gu Feng). Both coming from leading positions in top international automotive brands based in China. AIWAYS has expanded rapidly by building a research & development centre, battery plant and production facility. The company’s incredible growth means it now employs more than 1,100 people.
1. AIWAYS U7 ion CONCEPT
The AIWAYS U7 ion concept premiers the company’s FRM design ethos, which stands for family, roomy mobility, and focuses on bringing people together in the car, using innovative design and connectivity. With the design of the concept overseen by AIWAYS’ Chief Advisor of Design and Art, Ken Okuyama, the U7 ion continues to develop the brand’s aesthetic and enhance its focus on intelligence, efficiency and comfort.
The AIWAYS U7 ion concept states the company’s intention to make artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) core elements of all of its existing and future models. This is demonstrated by a depth of in-car AI unlike anything seen in the automotive industry to date. All of the vehicle’s innovative systems work to make its occupants’ journey as comfortable as possible.
In designing the interior of the U7 ion concept, AIWAYS’ design team has embraced the ‘fourth’ space concept. With the first three spaces standing for family, work and leisure, the AIWAYS U7 ion’s fourth space concept provides users with a safe-haven from busy modern life, while enabling them to remain connected to the world around them. The ‘fourth space’ concept helps the U7 ion concept achieve AIWAYS’ brand promise of ‘Love Your Drive’, by offering a type of mobility that is not just highly connected, but also relaxing and comfortable.
Building on the AIWAYS U5’s already class-leading in-car AI capabilities, the U7 ion introduces a number of intelligent systems to improve occupants’ experience. This includes the U7 ion’s integrated self-learning robot, which is mounted to a rail in the roof of the car’s cabin and can automatically move around the vehicle’s interior. The robot offers on-board sound recognition and passenger identification, as well as an even more intelligent iteration of the AIWAYS U5’s in-car childcare tool.
In total, the AIWAYS U7 ion concept’s interior is equipped with 12 high definition screens. These include a smart dashboard touchscreen, which is integrated into the vehicle’s steering wheel to provide key information to the driver while saving space. A smart mobile console, which includes a touchscreen as well as table, refrigerator, air purifier and hot and cold cup holders, can be directed around the cabin to meet the occupant’s needs.
Upon opening the U7 ion concept’s rear hinged rear doors – engineered to make access as effortless as possible – occupants are greeted by a ‘welcome seat’, which is rotated to face them. Once seated, the occupants in the middle row of seats can rotate their position to any configuration that suits them. Ambient lighting located throughout the cabin will automatically change colour and intensity to reflect to the tonality and volume of the occupants’ conversation or the driving style. This complements the U7 ion concept’s full panoramic glass roof to create a light and airy environment.
The U7 ion concept continues the AIWAYS U5’s design philosophy of minimalist aesthetics, with a bold SUV-style silhouette that offers MPV levels of practicality. Taking styling cues from the U5, such as the ‘mask-style’ front end with signature L-shaped headlights, helps create an AIWAYS family face and deliver exceptional aerodynamic efficiency.
The concept’s silhouette is accented by a taught waistline that creates a sense of dynamism and provides passengers with a feeling of security. Despite large alloy wheels on low profile tyres, the U7 ion concept sits low to the ground, not only to give a purposeful stance, but also for added passenger convenience.
AIWAYS’ quest for superior aerodynamics is furthered on the U7 ion concept with features such as rear-view cameras rather than mirrors, hidden door handles and a ‘closed’ alloy wheel design.
The AIWAYS U7 ion concept also helps its occupants express their personality, with projector headlights that can display images on the road ahead and change their configuration to reflect the driver’s mood.
2. AIWAYS U5 design
Intelligent and simplified
To realise its concept of “intelligent and simplified technology” AIWAYS combines functionality with spatial aesthetics to create a unique design and brand attitude – bold but inclusive, persevering but passionate, balanced but uncompromising to values of the individual.
The AIWAYS U5 follows a confident design concept driven by intelligence and functionality, with a harmonious and dynamic body shape that connects modern craftsmanship with future technology. Timeless details not only provide the U5 with a stunning aesthetic, but also ensure the longevity of the vehicle for years to come.
The smooth, closed front of the vehicle – characteristic of an AIWAYS electric vehicle – boasts a sharp, contoured design. Meticulous aerodynamic design contributes significantly to a class-leading drag coefficient of 0.29. Two air intakes flank the nose, with the left intake opening to reveal one charging plug, while a narrow air intake, located on the right and left side, helps to cool the battery packs and front brakes.
The bold SUV type body shape is underlined by 19 inch tyres on powerful-looking aluminium rims. With its long wheelbase, inclusive short front and rear overhangs and wheels far out to the car’s edges, the AIWAYS U5 provides a new interpretation of a modern SUV. It combines the commanding seating position of an SUV with the roominess and comfort of a family car.
L-shaped headlights conform to the shoulder line and meet at the centre, while H-shaped rear lights embrace the width of the vehicle. The AIWAYS U5 makes use of LED light technology, as well as linear lightguides to produce a uniquely recognisable image. The elegant retractable door handles also help to reduce wind resistance, further improving efficiency.
Measuring 4680 mm in length, 1865 mm in width and 1684 mm in height, the AIWAYS U5 is a compact SUV with a spacious interior beyond others in its segment. It achieves the perfect balance between objective user needs and desirable details. With a long wheelbase of 2790 mm the chassis provides sufficient space for various battery packs. As a result of the flexible and unique MAS platform, it is possible to fit powertrains with various capacities, as well as all-wheel-drive.
AI with you
The AIWAYS U5 features connectivity and artificial intelligence in a way rarely before been seen on a vehicle at its price point. To ensure it seamlessly integrates with the driver, the AIWAYS U5 uses face recognition to understand who is driving the car.
Face recognition also allows the AIWAYS U5 to notice if the driver is getting drowsy, at which point it will send them an alert and suggest they stop for a break.
So that users can completely customise their experience, the passenger can also treat the AIWAYS U5 like a mobile concierge, managing all aspects of the infotainment and comfortable system control, using just their voice.
The AIWAYS U5’s biological monitoring system doesn’t just benefit the driver, it also enables AIWAYS’ AI-powered in-car childcare tool. This not only allows the front passenger to check on the children in the rear seats using the main infotainment display, it will also alert them if the child drops a toy or a drink on the floor.
The AIWAYS U5 integrates with the driver’s smartphone, which they can use to access the vehicle, as well as pre-set heating controls and manage charging of the vehicle remotely.
Innovative technology is truly at the heart of the AIWAYS U5’s interior. A large dashboard dominates the cockpit. Its clean and horizontal-oriented design favours state-of-the-art digital display in lieu of any mechanical controls. In addition to the cockpit display, a 12.3-inch tablet-like screen is accessible from the driver and passenger side, offering touch-sensitive driving controls, charging functions and an intuitive infotainment system.
Despite the relatively compact exterior of the mid-size AIWAYS U5, the vehicle boasts a spacious interior to meet the customer’s desire for a “mobile living room”. It is characterised by organic shapes, pleasant materials and warm colour. The ergonomically-designed environment provides both high functionality and ultimate driving comfort, as well as a total boot space of 1543 litres.
Head and leg space for the front and rear passengers is impressive for a vehicle of this segment, while integrated sports seats offer optimum body support. The AIWAYS U5’s extraordinary travel comfort is amplified by the vast panoramic sunroof, which creates a light and airy atmosphere with an impressive width of 946 mm and length of 1674 mm.
3. AIWAYS U5 technical
The AIWAYS U5 uses pioneering engineering and technology to ensure it offers class-leading safety, outstanding quality and a highly engaging drive. At the heart of this ethos is AIWAYS’ innovative, modular and scalable MAS (More Adaptable Structure) platform.
Developed by AIWAYS’ engineering teams in Germany and China, the car’s body in white (BIW) uses a 52% aluminium and 48% intelligent high-strength steel material mix. Using one of the highest-strength steels available – around four times stronger than conventional high-strength steel – as well as pioneering bonding, casting and forming techniques, this construction is around 50% stiffer than an equivalent steel construction.
The use of aluminium high pressure die casting allows AIWAYS to produce, for example, one compact component where five separate ones would have previously been required. This not only saves time and money in the development, engineering and production of the vehicle, it also creates a lighter and more rigid overall construction.
The result is a vehicle with a kerb weight of 1,730 kg despite featuring a 63kWh battery, meaning the AIWAYS U5 offers greater range and is more power efficient while being precise and fun to drive. To ensure excellent safety, AIWAYS has undertaken extensive virtual simulations and physical tests to ensure the U5 matches, if not surpasses, the outstanding safety standards for occupants and pedestrians set by its competitors in the European market. The AIWAYS U5 is ready to achieve a five-star China NCAP rating.
Technology engineered for safety
With passenger safety being AIWAYS’ primary focus, the U5 is fitted with a number of innovative safety and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to give the driver total peace of mind and avoid a collision. These include a lane departure prevention system, which not only warns the driver when they are about to stray from their lane but also makes small adjustments to the steering if the driver does not heed the warning.
This is coupled with an innovative highly automated system, which is activated at speeds above 60km/h (37mph) to ensure that the AIWAYS U5 remains in the middle of the lane, to stop it from moving off course. This is backed up by a lane departure warning system, which alerts the driver if the vehicle begins moving out of its lane.
To further reduce the likelihood of collision, the AIWAYS U5 is fitted with a blind spot warning system, which alerts the driver when a vehicle or cyclist is about to pass alongside the vehicle. The AIWAYS U5’s Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system also warns the driver when a vehicle is about to pass behind the vehicle when it is reversing or overtaking.
AIWAYS has also fitted the U5 with a number of active safety features, including Auto Emergency Braking (AEB), which automatically applies the car’s brakes when a pedestrian, cyclist or vehicle passes in front of the car. Additionally, AIWAYS’ cyclist warning system sounds to alert the occupants if they are in danger of opening their door into the path of a passing cyclist.
For added convenience, the AIWAYS U5 is offered with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which not only ensures the car stays at a safe distance from the vehicle in front when traveling at speed, it can also bring the car to a halt when traffic ahead of it stops as well as moving off again when it is safe to do so. Intelligent High Beam Control (IHBC), which automatically operates the vehicle’s high-beam headlights when it is necessary and safe to do so is also offered. Meanwhile, the AIWAYS U5’s Parking Assistant system will manoeuvre the vehicle into a parking space at the touch of a button from the driver.
While engineered to be a mid-size SUV, for urban and suburban driving, the AIWAYS U5 is also offers an enjoyable driving experience on faster, more demanding roads. Owing to its rigid, lightweight construction and low centre of gravity due to the battery placement in the floor of the car, the AIWAYS U5 offers optimal driver engagement
The AIWAYS U5 is equipped with front MacPherson independent suspension and independent multi-link rear suspension. This not only provides superb cornering ability, it also offers a smooth and compliant ride for front and rear passengers alike. The AIWAYS U5’s electric power-assisted steering system strikes the perfect balance between lightweight engineering and driver engagement.
Front and rear 314 mm disc brakes and twin-piston callipers give the driver the utmost confidence in the AIWAYS U5’s stopping power. AIWAYS iBoost regenerative braking system recuperates energy that would otherwise be lost through braking to recharge the battery.
4. AIWAYS U5 powertrain
Setting new benchmarks
The design brief for the AIWAYS U5 powertrain required a new level of intelligent engineering and performance not yet seen on a battery electric vehicle in the European mid-size SUV segment. At the heart of the U5 is AIWAYS’ independently developed powertrain that sets new benchmarks for efficiency, range and performance.
With a capacity of 63kWh, the battery unit in the AIWAYS U5 is capable of delivering enough charge to cover more than 503 km according to the NEDC cycle. For complete convenience, the AIWAYS U5’s battery can be rapid-charged from 20% to 80% in 40 minutes using a DC charger, or from 10% to 95% in less than 8hours using a (6.6kW Type 2) AC charger for overnight recharging.
This headline performance is thanks to a state-of-the-art ‘sandwich’ structure battery pack developed and manufactured by AIWAYS using proven CATL cells and modules. It also includes an intelligent thermal management system – developed and patented by AIWAYS – that brings new levels of thermal efficiency, performance and safety.
As the name implies, the ‘sandwich’ structure differs from traditional automotive battery packs in that it adds a layer of isolation plate between the battery module and the cooling plate. The principal benefit of this arrangement means the battery and cooling plate are independent of each other, ensuring class-leading levels of safety while mitigating the risk of the unit short-circuiting if damaged.
Shock protection space is also added to the “sandwich” battery pack. A 15mm space is engineered between the bottom of the battery pack plate and the battery module. In the event of an impact underneath the U5, the battery module will not be affected, which in turn prevents the risk of internal short circuits caused by the impact deformation of the battery module and further improve the battery pack safety.
The bottom anti-impact space not only improves battery safety performance, it has also been used by AIWAYS’ thermal management engineers for partial insulation design to slow down heat transfer between the external environment and the battery module. Extensive cold weather testing has shown that this translates to a much-improved winter capacity, equating to a real-world range of close to 300 km at below 0 Celsius. Once warm, the battery will retain heat, and will also warm up in the morning if plugged in, so no capacity is used for heating the battery. The AIWAYS U5 will also be offered with an alternative 36kWh battery for short distance driving.
The energy density of the innovative ‘sandwich’ battery pack is mated to AIWAYS’ power unit. The electric motor develops peak power of 140kW and 315 Nm of torque at a maximum 16,000rpm, and is integrated into the AIWAYS U5’s lightweight construction.
The E-Drive system, which includes the electric motor, gearbox and inverter, is the most compact design offered by any EV manufacturer; 15% smaller than similar systems. It has been designed from the outset to fit a variety of different vehicle applications in A, B or C-segment cars or configurable for front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
In the coming U5, the E-Drive system is optimized, which is mounted at the front of the car driving the front wheels. Peak motor speed (16,000rpm) is 25% higher than average for current production EVs, meaning that the motor can be smaller and lighter, resulting in a 10% higher power density (170Wh/kg) than equivalent products in the sector.
Electric powertrains boast much higher levels of efficiency compared with internal combustion engines, but extending this advantage even further requires the use of multiple ratios within an electric powertrain. To maximise space and reduce weight, a single speed reduction gearbox is integrated within the electric motor housing and the whole E-Drive system is one of the most compact units currently available.
Power delivery and battery management are controlled centrally by the Vehicle Control Unit (VCU). With “Eco”, “Normal” and “Sport” the AIWAYS U5 offers three different driving modes allowing the driver varying levels of accelerator pedal sensitivity.
Quality engineered in manufacturing
The AIWAYS U5 offers class-leading levels of quality, while remaining affordable and highly innovative. To achieve this, AIWAYS has not only focused on the vehicle design and engineering, it has also invested heavily in developing a ground-breaking manufacturing facility in Shangrao, China.
The product of a €1.7bn (£1.5 billion) investment, AIWAYS’ new manufacturing facility is a step-change for Chinese automotive manufacturers and represents the company’s holistic approach to future mobility. Engineered to Industry 4.0 standards, it is currently able to produce 150,000 cars a year, with a second phase of expansion already planned to bring annual capacity to 300,000 units. AIWAYS’ facility, which consists of a stamping plant, body shop, paint shop, unique battery packing station and assembly shop, integrates innovative technology throughout.
Embracing Industry 4.0
To ensure outstanding quality and efficiency, and embracing its philosophy of continuous improvement through technology, AIWAYS is working with Siemens to develop the ‘two factories – one facility’ concept. This means that there is a highly-detailed cloud-based virtual model of the manufacturing facility communicating online with the physical facility, in order to monitor every step of the production process, for example by using blue ray sensor detection. This not only makes sure each vehicle is tracked and accounted for, it also guarantees that even the smallest irregularities can be detected, reported and corrected immediately, without interrupting the production process.
Raw materials and components are transported to the production sites using a visually-guided mobility system, which is highly precise and optimised for short distances. Meanwhile, in the stamping shop, highly intelligent control allows identical pressing tools to shape different metals, such as steel and aluminium, and form different shapes simultaneously. The stamping machines are working with the highest speed in automotive production.
In the body shop, 410 robots supplied by Kuka work individually or in teams, joining chassis components and body panels using innovative techniques that allows AIWAYS to bond steel and aluminium together.
These include flow drill screw-driving and self-piercing riveting techniques, which are typically seen in the aerospace industry but have been perfected for automotive by the AIWAYS R&D Centre. At its current capacity, the body shop can produce up to 20 body shells an hour. To ensure optimum quality, blue ray and laser technology measures every part of the structure to ensure it conforms with cloud-based target data.
Following this, the body shell enters the paint shop, where an AIWAYS patented blooming process is used to achieve class-leading paint quality, while reducing waste by 90%, using half the energy and removing 10 pre-painting steps from the conventional processes. The fully-automated painting process uses 39 ABB robots with the ability to paint 13 colours, including two-tone paint finishes on a single line.
The assembly shop sees skilled technicians work alongside assembly robots at ergonomically-designed workstations across seven assembly lines, meaning it will be possible to produce different models at the same time. Components arrive automatically at each workstation, delivered by optically-guided autonomous transporters, whose paths and delivery times are dictated by the cloud-based virtual factory.
Following assembly, the vehicle goes to the battery packing station, a completely new workshop in addition to conventional automotive production. Only specified staff are allowed to enter this area, where high voltage is handled.
Data is collected throughout the entire assembly process and compared to target data in the cloud, to ensure the highest product quality and production efficiency. If any assembly irregularities are detected, they are rectified by highly trained technicians before, at the very end of the production process, the vehicle undergoes rigorous static and dynamic testing.
Rethinking the dealership model
AIWAYS believes that the conventional way of buying and selling cars is outdated and does not put users’ needs first. With franchised dealerships typically located in hubs around towns and cities, and open typical working hours, many potential car buyers struggle to find the time or inclination to travel to a retailer. Many car buyers are also intimidated and untrusting of car dealerships, while salespersons’ expertise and enthusiasm about electric vehicles remains poor.
Meanwhile, consumers are shopping online for an ever-increasing number of products and brands in a way that is more convenient and personal to them. This is why AIWAYS has chosen to disrupt traditional car buying methods by offering an online-first membership/user model for the U5 when it is made available in Europe.
The AIWAYS U5 can be easily customised using the company’s website, where customers can also complete the order of their vehicle. Test drives and distribution of the car will be handled by a network of partner companies across Europe, which will offer customers a range of short- and long-term lease and flexible payment options.
Upon delivery of the AIWAYS U5, its user will be given a comprehensive hand-over by a dedicated AIWAYS specialist. AIWAYS is also exploring the possibility of offering the AIWAYS U5 at other key retail areas.
To ensure a faultless entry into European, AIWAYS will open a Centre for International Operations in EU later this year, which will provide a European headquarters for the company to operate from. The AIWAYS U5 will be made available in key European markets in early 2020.
Because AIWAYS U5’s innovative EV powertrain requires minimal maintenance AIWAYS will not have branded workshops. Instead, AIWAYS U5 users can take their car to designated local workshop for maintenance or repair work. AIWAYS will partner with a large European supplier to deliver a seamless aftersales service, from roadside assistance to being able to repair the most complicated issues. AIWAYS intends to always be very close to our customers and put their requirements first.
People can already register their interest in the AIWAYS U5 and sign up for regular updates by visiting the AIWAYS website. Customers who finish the payment later in the year will also be eligible to achieve additional incentives from AIWAYS.
7. About AIWAYS
AIWAYS was founded in 2017 with the vision of developing truly innovative cars that bring users freedom and make them fall in love with driving again. In less than three years, the AIWAYS team led by President, Mr Fu Qiang (Samuel Fu), and CEO, Mr Gu Feng (Gary Gu), achieved what many established automotive brands have taken decades to achieve.
Launched to Europe at the Geneva International Motor Show 2019, the AIWAYS U5 all-electric mid-size SUV offers class-leading battery performance and build quality. This has been made possible by AIWAYS’ R&D centre, which opened in April 2018 in Jiading, Shanghai, as well as its battery facility in Changshu, Jiangsu Province and its all-new 1.7 billion euro (£1.5 billion) smart manufacturing facility in Shangrao, Jiangxi Province.
AIWAYS: LOVE YOUR DRIVE
AIWAYS defines its brand with the phrase ‘Love Your Drive’. Simply, this means that its ambition is to build a car that users will love to drive, not only due to the driving experience but because it caters to their lifestyle. It does this by dedicating itself to a mission of truly understanding its users’ needs, and using smart technologies to help meet these needs.
It will fulfil its mission by providing a range benefits, which include creating a mutual transparent relationship with its users, providing exceptional quality of product and service, and offering a completely personalised mobility solution. By relying on artificial intelligence, AIWAYS also creates products that can see, listen, think and learn, with the goal of providing an even more intelligent product to users.
Developing AI with You
When it goes on sale in Europe, the AIWAYS U5 will offer a range of innovative connectivity solutions. However, AIWAYS’ R&D teams are working tirelessly to deliver the next generation of AI-powered connectivity to motorists, some of which has been previewed on the AIWAYS U7 ion concept.
Other solutions include integration between the car and the home, allowing the driver to control aspects of their home from the car. AIWAYS’ R&D engineers are also exploring ways in which cloud computing can provide greater benefit to motorists, as well as exploring a range of higher-level autonomy solutions.
A new charging solution
AIWAYS believes that one of the greatest barriers to electric vehicle ownership for many people across Europe is public charging infrastructure. While local authorities and charging, providers are doing all they can, there is a growing risk that demand for charging infrastructure outstrips demand. To ensure that a suitable solution is found, AIWAYS’ R&D engineers have been exploring ways that artificial intelligence can help solve current issues with charging.
One such solution is the AIWAYS Charging Robot prototype, CARL, an autonomous and mobile charging unit. When parked in a public car park, EV drivers would be able to summon CARL using a smartphone app. Using GPS data, CARL can then guide itself to the parking space and can automatically administer a fast charge, without the driver having to wait to plug in.
Compatible with all cars that adhere to globally-recognised charging standards, CARL could be used in public carparks, allowing car park operators to provide a charging solution, without having to allocate dedicated parking spaces or invest in expensive infrastructure upgrades.
Mr Fu Qiang (Samuel Fu), President and Co-founder
With 28 years of experience in the automotive industry, Mr Fu Qiang has worked across product development, finance, marketing and corporate management at a number of major global OEMs. Before co-founding AIWAYS, Mr Fu was President and CEO of Volvo Cars China, and has previously held executive roles at Mercedes-Benz, Skoda and FAW-Volkswagen.
Mr Fu’s role at AIWAYS sees him take a particular focus on sales, marketing and product development.
Mr Gu Feng (Gary Gu), CEO and Co-founder
Holding senior roles at some of China’s largest and most successful companies, Mr Gu Feng has 20 years of industrial and consumer finance experience in the automotive and supply chain industry. Now holding the role of CEO and Co-founder of AIWAYS, Mr Gu was previously Chief Finance Officer for SAIC, and has also held executive roles at Shanghai Automotive Investment Management Co. Ltd, Shanghai Modern Service Industry Association and Shanghai Accounting Association.
At AIWAYS, Mr Gu has an overarching responsibility for the company’s finances, investments and consumer finance offerings.
Dr Alexander Klose, Executive VP Overseas Operations
With some 30 years’ experience in automotive strategy and marketing, Dr Alexander Klose has a deep understanding of the mobility sector around the globe. Before joining AIWAYS in 2018, Dr Klose has held roles as the CEO of Volvo Cars (China), and Asia Pacific President of PAG, which included the Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo brands. He has also provided consultancy and support services to a number of automotive retail groups in China.
Dr Klose is responsible for AIWAYS’ operations outside of China.
Mr Ken Okuyama, Chief Design Advisor
Responsible for some of the most beautiful Italian supercars ever produced, Mr Ken Okuyama is nothing short of an automotive design master. Cutting his teeth working in the design team for the fourth-generation Chevrolet Camaro and Porsche 911 (996), Mr Okuyama became Creative Director of Pininfarina in 2004. He oversaw the design of iconic cars such as the Ferrari Enzo, 599 GTB Fiorano and P4/5, as well as the Maserati Birdcage 75th concept car.
Mr Okuyama has consulted on the design of the AIWAYS U5 and Gumpert AIWAYS Natalie, and will continue this role for future models.
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