Faraday Future, the highly secretive cars company has applied for number plates for self-driving vehicles from officials at the Michigan Department of Transportation. The company is backed by Jia Yueting, a Chinese billionaire who also owns the smartphone company LeEco. The relationship between Faraday Future and LeEco is not clear, but LeEco has made a LeSee concept smart car.
The plates are going to be used to test prototypes and various features, according to a report in The Detroit News. This means that the vehicles tested may not be complete autonomous vehicles, but just some parts of an autonomous car system. Vehicles with modified equipment to test out particular systems are called mules. Apparently Faraday Future has already been testing out mules in cold weather conditions, according to a report in the Business Insider.
Faraday Future made its debut at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Asking for plates to test cars is a major development for this new company. While there are no working autonomous prototypes, such vehicles are expected to be built by the company before the end of the year. The company had showcased a supercharged version of the the kind of vehicular technology they want to produce with the FFZERO1 concept at the consumer electronics show.