Geely unveils SEA-M platform that will underpin Waymo's Zeekr Robotaxi
Geely, a Chinese multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in the Hangzhou City of Zhejiang Province, has officially unveiled its SEA-M architecture that will be used to produce future driverless EVs.
Derived from the Chinese manufacturer’s SEA platform, SEA-M will underpin future mobility products like robotaxis, multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) and logistics vehicles. The Zeekr robotaxi for Waymo will reportedly be the first electric-powered vehicle to be underpinned by this innovative platform.
SEA-M will provide designers with the opportunity to create an intelligent mobile "living room,” thanks to high-tech features like expansive interior, lack of B-pillars, and strong electrical/electronic backbone that will support autonomous drive and linked devices. Such vehicles will mainly target global autonomous driving tech firms and ride-sharing companies.
A flat floor, an unrestrained axle to length ratio, and the architecture will allow designers to make the most of interior space with a capsule design. Waymo's Zeekr robotaxi that was previewed in 2021 is an example of such design. The SEA-M platform's electrical/electronic backbone will empower multi-functional screens to keep users connected and entertained on the move.
It may be noted here that Zeekr is a premium EV brand owned by Geely. It is a new electric mobility technology and solutions brand that has specifically been created to satisfy the global demand for premium EVs.
When it comes to safety of the passengers, Geely claims that future vehicles based on its innovative SEA-M platform will meet global 5-star safety standards. In other words, such vehicles will be meet top safety pick requirements prescribed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Mr. Conghui, Chief Executive officer for Zeekr, said that the unveiling of Zeekr's SEA-M has shown the auto brand's technological strengths as well as potential.
Speaking at the unveiling of the innovative platform, Conghui added, “The affirmation of partners for the SEA-M has also reflected ZEEKR's ability to customize development according to the needs of each user. Going forth, ZEEKR will continue to work with great global partners to support better and more sustainable intelligent mobility for all."
This suggests that Waymo is not going to be the only customer for the SEA-M platform. Zeekr has already introduced the M-Vision Concept, showcasing the capabilities of the new architecture.
However, Google-owned Waymo will be the first company to use an EV based on the SEA-M architecture. Zeekr and Waymo are working together to develop a purpose-built TaaS (Transportation as a Service) SEA-M variant that will be deployed with the “Waymo One” ride-hailing fleet after a few years.