Fisker Automotive, founded in 2007 by Henrik Fisker, has teamed up with China’s Hakim Unique Group on a project known as ‘Orbit’, which is a self-driving electric shuttle bus tailored to suit small city environments.
Without to much detail being provided at this moment in time, it is clear that the boxy design of the vehicle is to maximise passenger space, along with a digital display board which informs commuters when the shuttle departs and what its next destination will be.
Unlike current Fisker projects to date, it is expected that we won’t be waiting long to see an Orbit on the road, with the company expecting to deliver its first shuttles by the end of 2018.
The initial use of the Orbit will be as part of a Hakim Unique Group smart city, with little mention of where this city would be. However, Hakim has a global reach, and it’s safe to presume that Fisker doesn’t want to confine its autonomous tech to one country. The biggest challenge is likely to be finding cities and transportation outfits that are willing to incorporate self-driving shuttles which requires, both the right legal framework and companies that are willing to take a chance on a robotic fleet.
Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Inc. commented on the partnership, “Our tireless work at Fisker Inc. has never just been about the design and development of our own compelling electric vehicles – but exploring new frontiers in technology across multiple industries for the advancement of human mobility and progression of society as a whole. It’s in this spirit that we’re thrilled to partner with Hakim Unique Group and a top entrepreneur in “Jack” Wang Qicheng – who’s been at the forefront in investment, development and implementation of infrastructure for the smart cities of the future. The combination of our breakthrough automotive technology, design prowess and unique vantage point as industry revolutionaries – and Jack’s truly integrated vision of smart cities – is powerful. I am very excited about making the impossible, possible with intelligent urban ecosystems – starting with the development of one of the world’s most forward-thinking and uniquely designed electric, autonomous shuttles: The Fisker Orbit.”