Fresh news arrives out of China as yet another relatively new automaker is debuting an ultra-futuristic EV loaded with unique designs and technology. Human Horizons has shared additional details of its upcoming HiPhi Z GT sedan ahead of scaled production. Loaded with distinctive features both inside and out, this new EV is something you gotta catch a glimpse at. Did we mention the robot touchscreen turns to look at you when you’re speaking to it?
Background on Human Horizons and HiPhi
Human Horizons Technology, better known as Human Horizons, is a Chinese startup based in Shanghai that develops autonomous driving technology and manufactures EVs under the HiPhi brand.
After being founded as recently as 2017, Human Horizons officially launched the HiPhi name a year later alongside three concept vehicle designs. The startup first caught our eye in 2019 when it shared a concept EV called the HiPhi 1. It would eventually develop into the company’s first production model, the HiPhi X SUV, which began deliveries this past March.
Following the early success of the HiPhi X, Human Horizons introduced its next model – a sedan called the HiPhi Z GT. By November of 2021, the EV startup had released several cool concept videos showcasing technology it hoped to implement on its next EV.
Today, Human Horizons has shared images of the production version of the HiPhi Z GT, and a majority of those unique technologies appear to have made it into its final design. Have a gander.
HiPhi Z GT is loaded with tech, and MSRP starts under $90K
In a press release today, Human Horizons shared additional details of the HiPhi Z GT as it has reached a production-ready version that “looks, feels, and drives like a car from 20 years in the future.”
According to founder, CEO, and chairman Ding Lei, the HiPhi Z has retained more than 95% of its production intents previously revealed. There’s a lot to unfold here, so let’s start with the exterior and all those LEDs.
According to its makers, the HiPhi Z will arrive equipped with the world’s first wraparound Star-Ring ISD light curtain on a passenger vehicle. This curtain consists of 4066 individual LEDs that can interact with passengers, drivers, and the world around it, including displaying messages.
The doors feature an interactive system and ultra-wide band (UWB) wireless communication technology with 10cm-level positioning, automatically detecting people, keys, and other vehicles. This allows the GT to perform automatic opening of the suicide doors at a safe speed and angle.
Additionally, active air grill shutters (AGS) connect with the rear spoiler and wing to automatically adjust vehicle drag and reduce lift for improved overall performance.
Interior of the HiPhi Z GT
Moving inward, Human Horizons says it designed the sedan’s cabin to resemble “an ultra-futuristic spaceship,” offering assistance with a “digital soul” in the form of HiPhi Bot – an AI companion in the touchscreen that can automatically adjust every aspect of the driving and passenger experience. This bot is connected to the dash and can turn and face you when you speak to it, then turn and face your front passenger, too. Per the startup:
In addition to harnessing a combination of lighting, touch, sound, and fragrance, to create an immersive and comforting environment, HiPhi Bot is able to interact with passengers. It comes equipped with the world’s only vehicle-grade, 4-degrees of freedom (DOF), 8-direction infinitely adjustable, high-speed motion robotic arm which can move back and forth in place in less than a second and features control accuracy of up to 0.001mm, being able to perform a variety of delicate movements with barely a noise.
Ambient panel lights and the HiPhi bot can both dance in rhythm to the 23-speaker Meridian audio system – the same that is featured on the new Rivian R1S (the R1T has a 19 speaker system). Similarly the technology Fisker has been touting as a world’s first in the upcoming Ocean SUV, the center tablet is able to automatically turn 90 degrees from vertical to horizontal as well.
Performance specs and pricing
The upcoming HiPhi Z will also come equipped with the automaker’s proprietary HiPhi Pilot ADAS offering dual-redundancy for the six major systems: computing, perception, communication, braking, steering, and power supply.
The HiPhi Z utilizes a NVIDIA Orin X chip and QNX Neutrino real-time operating system to control 34 individual sensors in addition to LiDAR that constantly scan the surrounding environment to perform assisted driving and parking. The EV can also perform smart summon using the smartphone app.
The HiPhi Z shares the same power train as its X sibling and will come in two options:
- Single motor RWD – 300 horsepower and 410 Nm torque
- Dual motor AWD – 600 horsepower and 820 Nm torque.
- 0-100 km (0-62 mph) in 3.8 seconds
Despite sharing a powertrain, the HiPhi Z will come with a larger, 120 kWh battery pack promising 705 km (438 miles) of NEDC range. It also features an IVC vehicle dynamic control system that generates a steering angle of 13.2 degrees, despite the EV being 5 meters long.
Lastly, Human Horizons revealed the HiPhi Z GT will be priced between $89,000–$129,000. Official pricing and rollout dates will be announced at the Chengdu Auto Show in August. Interested customers in China can book an opportunity to test-drive the car through the HiPhi App.
Here’s one of several videos from Human Horizon teasing some of the technology Chinese consumers can expect to see on the production version of the HiPhi Z:
As a US citizen, a majority of the cooler EVs in China will probably never make their way to roads near me, and continued lockdowns in China make visits difficult to say the least. Despite all that, I find it so exciting to see some of the innovations coming out overseas, even if I can’t experience them firsthand for a while.
JIDU recently unveiled a similar ultra-robotic future car, but that’s merely a concept. With my American flag-clad blinders on here in the US, the HiPhi Z came out of nowhere for me, and I need to see more.
Not everyone may love the design, but the innovation inside and out offers, at the very least, a glimpse into what is possible in future EV design. Especially as these vehicles more closely resemble supercomputers on wheels rather than moving machines.
I’m excited to see what this company does next. Will definitely be keeping a close eye on them.
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