Nick Sampson, senior vice president of R&D and engineering at Faraday Future came back as red faced as a tomato after his presentation for the big reveal of its first production car, the FF 91. The car was supposed to park itself when requested, but due to some unknown malfunction, it didn’t comply.
Worst of all, company’s main financier, Jia Yueting was invited to the presentation to flaunt this very feature! Oh, the horror! The car did manage to pull off an impressive autonomous three-point turn and then backed itself into a parking space outside. But when a similar task was asked of it onstage, it wasn’t so lucky.
Sampson asked Jia to press the button to engage its “driverless valet” function. But nothing budged, leading to an awkward silence and then Sampson trying to cover it up.
“It seems like it’s a little lazy tonight,” Sampson said.
Then they invited Jia for a long speech, while a technician worked on the car right there on the stage. After Jia was done, Sampson again tried to get the car to park itself after dimming the lights
“Let’s let the lights out and see if she’ll become a bit more brave” he said.
The stage did dim, and everyone then watched the car roll a good 20 feet in a straight line before coming to a halt, to much praise by Sampson.
Car fast pic.twitter.com/xg4GJSqxYp
— Matthew Lynley (@mattlynley) January 4, 2017
Sampson later explained in a press release the reason behind the issue, and whether it was being remote-controlled,
“No, if it was [supposed] to be remote control, I’m sure the person controlling it would’ve corrected that. Outside, it was working perfectly, that’s why we made that demonstration outside cause we knew there were technical challenges. If we look up at the roof of this building there’s a lot of steel structure up there that’d [prohibit] some of the signals.”
What are your thoughts on this alarming malfunction? Were they faking it all together? Comment below!