China already has more electric vehicle startups than it knows what to do with, and here’s another one. Human Horizons has just introduced its first model, the HiPhi 1, and this one is a little bit more serious than the others out there because the company says the car is actually production ready. According to Autocar, deliveries in the Middle Kingdom are slated to kick off in 2021.
As is the trend these days, the HiPhi 1 is a mono-box SUV-style vehicle, with the generous interior space afforded by the powertrain allowing for six seats. It has suicide doors and a pair of rear roof panels that swing upwards to ease access to the rear quarters, in a similar fashion to the Tesla Model X‘s Falcon Wing Doors. Human Horizons calls them NT Doors, and there’s supposedly even a “parade” mode that will enable the car to drive slowly with the roof panels raised.
Otherwise, the HiPhi 1 sticks to familiar EV design cues, even though the styling is said to be inspired by a supercar. The streamlined shape and the expansive glass panels hint at the space within, while the dramatic side surfacing and the distinctive fin along the window line add some visual drama.
A neat feature concerns the lights – the car features programmable light-processing headlights that can reportedly beam patterns on roads or walls, such as a virtual zebra crossing to show pedestrians that it’s safe to cross the road. The Intelligent Signal Display (ISD) panels below the head- and tail lights can also be used to show patterns and messages to other road users.
The interior is dominated by a bank of screens – one each the driver and front passenger, and a portrait-format display in the centre. Human Horizons says that the HiPhi 1 will be the first car to feature a 5G vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications network, plus a world-first Human Oriented Architecture (HOA) that is claimed to be able to adapt the car around the driver, using cloud computing with powerful data analysis.
It’s all possible through the use of neural network that consists of four “super brain” domain controllers and six computing platforms (MPU, or Micro Processing Unit), connected using gigabit Ethernet. The car can perceive and understand user habits, providing personalised solutions such as range management. The HiPhi 1 will also launch with Level 3 semi-autonomous driving capabilities.
Human Horizons has yet to release any technical details, but Autocar reports that the HiPhi 1 will be offered with rear- and all-wheel drive variants. The latter will be powered by a pair of 268 hp motors and provide a zero-to-100 km/h time of around 3.9 seconds. There will also be a range of battery options on offer, with the largest 96 kWh unit said to offer a range of around 640 km on the NEDC cycle.
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