BYD, the company that delivered the world’s first mass-production, dual-mode Electric Vehicle – the F3DM, is now bringing to market the first remote-driving-enabled 5-seat, family sedan – the BYD “Su Rui” (pronounced “suri”). Consumer sales launched in Beijing with prices starting at around $10,365 for the 1.5-liter base model) and up to $15,710 for the 1.5 turbo-charged version (TID).
Remote driving is useful for Chinese consumers who are faced with daily parking constraints, where even the mirrors touch vehicle-to-vehicle, says the company. Su Rai also allows for assisted passenger pick-up from shared parking during inclement weather.
Vehicle starting, stopping and steering control is accomplished with a control unit the size of a standard smart-key fob. In a range of 10 meters (~30 feet), the driver can start the car, move it forward and back, turn left and right, all traveling at a restricted speed of 2Km/hr (1.2 mph). The car’s climate control system (hot or cold) can also be controlled via the remote device.