Faraday Future will unveil its first car at CES 2016 on Jan. 4 but to date the secretive company has said very little about what the vehicle will look like or what features it will have. Now, two weeks ahead of the unveiling the company has published a teaser video that provides more insight into what the company has been working on.
While the video is very light on concrete details and full of inspirational ideas, there are some pieces of new information that can be gleaned from the slick piece of film-making. The video opens with a question: "If we could let ourselves forget everything we know about cars, would we invent the same car industry we have today?"
The voiceover talks about "starting clean" -- a reference to the use of clean energy -- and a "smarter car that says more about our hopes than our frustrations." It goes on to talk about "turning the volume down," which is likely a reference to the silent operation of an electric car.
Hinting at autonomous capabilities, the video asks: "What if the back seat was the new front seat?" This suggests that the car Faraday Future's engineers are working on at its Los Angeles headquarters will have at least partial autonomy, something the company has never confirmed.
The most interesting comment in the video, however, relates to a completely new type of ownership model, or a lack of one. "What if all those cars parked in driveways had more interesting lives. What if you didn't so much own a car as use one whenever you needed." Flexible ownership models are not new and Ford has already been testing such initiatives as part of its Smart Mobility Plan, which sees car-sharing and hourly rentals being tested in cities around the world.
Ford is set to announce a partnership with Google at CES in January to build some of its driverless cars, which are also expected to offer users flexible usage models.
For a while the highly secretive Faraday Future automotive startup was thought to be a front for Apple's car project, but it has since been revealed that it is being backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, who owns LeTV, known as the “Netflix of China.”
The company recently announced it would be building a state-of-the-art production facility north of Las Vegas with an initial investment of $1 billion and direct employment for 4,500 people.