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Digitron NG. Tech News, Computer Gadgets, Smartphones, Games, Information Technology, Videos, PC Utilities, Phone Utilites, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials. We successfully fused Technology and Entertainment to give you a very exciting experience on our website.
Digitron NG. Tech News, Computer Gadgets, Smartphones, Games, Information Technology, Videos, PC Utilities, Phone Utilites, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials. We successfully fused Technology and Entertainment to give you a very exciting experience on our website.
Digitron NG. Tech News, Computer Gadgets, Smartphones, Games, Information Technology, Videos, PC Utilities, Phone Utilites, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials. We successfully fused Technology and Entertainment to give you a very exciting experience on our website.
Digitron NG. Tech News, Computer Gadgets, Smartphones, Games, Information Technology, Videos, PC Utilities, Phone Utilites, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials. We successfully fused Technology and Entertainment to give you a very exciting experience on our website.
Digitron NG. Tech News, Computer Gadgets, Smartphones, Games, Information Technology, Videos, PC Utilities, Phone Utilites, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials. We successfully fused Technology and Entertainment to give you a very exciting experience on our website.
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Indi One EV ‘proof of concept’ car debuts at LA Auto Show

Indi EV says its car will be the 5G-connected office and play space of the future. But it’s not clear if the independent, mostly unknown EV company — with a few lawsuits to its founder’s name — can actually pull it off. 

At the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, would-be automaker Indi EV introduced the public to its flagship car, an SUV called the Indi One. Under its hood, where you might expect to find an engine, is a computer. One day, the company says it will power three cameras, three dashboard screens, and 5G connectivity so users can work, capture photos and videos, edit content, post to social media, and play video games in their car. 

“We focused on the content creation capabilities of this car,” an Indi EV media rep said at the Los Angeles Auto Show Wednesday, where the company was showing the Indi One proof of concept. “Take that always on internet of things connectivity and give it to passengers. We wanted to build it all into the car itself.”

The five-seater car is sleek and comfortable, with a futuristic steering wheel and heads-up display, plush seating, a panoramic roof, and lots of options for moving the back seats and customizing the trunk. 

There are three displays in the front that will each have a different function, when they’re actually working. (The content displayed on the screens at the auto show was just a simulation). One screen faces the driver and shows typical driving information, like speed and battery level. Another in the middle is for things like music and climate control. The screen in front of the passenger seat is meant for gaming and social media. It has two cameras for capturing footage of the passengers, and one pointed at the carseat in back. That footage would stream to the displays up front, so a parent could have a real-time view.

Integrating car, computer, and content sounds great, right? But it’s a long road from vision to reality — that other once-considered-promising companies have tried and failed to successfully travel before.

Multiple screens let you check the weather, the music, and your Instagram all at the same time.
Credit: Rachel Kraus / Mashable

Indi EV (or, Independent Electronic Vehicles) is an LA-based company founded in 2017. The company’s website is not particularly forthcoming about its leadership, founding, and funding. Media representatives said Andre Hudson, head of design, and John Kennedy, head of brand, serve as leadership. According to their LinkedIn profiles, Hudson previously worked in design for GM and Hyundai/Kia, while Kennedy has held roles in operations and design at multiple companies, including Audi, Ford, and the beleaguered Faraday Future. The company’s chief people officer, Star K., also worked at Faraday, and was dressed at the LA Auto Show in a Squid Game contestant tracksuit.

At the show, Hudson said that the company has roots in developing gaming engines. The company’s founder is a business man named Shi Hai, who previously founded Snail Games. The reps said the two companies are “separate entities.” In coverage of the Indi One from October, The Verge reports that Shi Hai and Snail Games are facing multiple lawsuits from former employees for “claims of racist behavior, poor treatment of employees, and in one case, wrongful termination and wage theft.” 

The front of the Indi One shows the "Vehicle Integrated Computer" under the hood.

A nifty case enclosing the “Vehicle Integrated Computer” under the hood.

Credit: Rachel Kraus / Mashable

The back of the Indi One showing the modular trunk.

The trunk has modular, customizable attachments — and a nifty license plate.

Credit: Rachel Kraus / Mashable

There are other red flags marking this company’s road to actually producing and selling a car. Representatives at the LA Auto Show said the Indi One would get a wide release in Q4 of next year. Media reps later clarified that the date is Q3 2023. When Mashable asked about manufacturing partners and timelines, the company declined to provide details beyond that it works “with a manufacturer overseas to source select parts and general assembly of our cars is completed here in Los Angeles.” Reps also said “we will reveal production and manufacturing details at CES, but not before then.” (CES is in January 2022). 

There are multiple videos on the website introducing the team and the vehicle, but links to learn more direct to placeholder pages with dummy text. Additionally, the product specialist referred to the car at the LA Auto Show as a “driving prototype,” but representatives later clarified that it was instead a “proof of concept” car. 

“The prototypes for production (beta vehicles) are in our R&D facility in Los Angeles,” representatives said. “We’ll begin testing for production by the end of this year.”

The LA Auto Show car did not have all the cameras installed, and the computer and displays were not functioning, so Mashable could not check out how the computer interface actually works.

Indi EV has a big dreams for its Indi One. It refers to the “supercomputer” inside as “VIC,” the “Vehicle Integrated Computer.” Hudson said the company is working on voice integration, so drivers could say “Hey VIC, show me the baby camera,” or “Hey VIC, take a 30-second video,” or something along those lines. The company says this would provide a more integrated, authentic experience of capturing the moments that happen in your car, as opposed to having to rely on smartphones or tablets.

They also see the car as a work station where people could take Zoom meetings, or a gaming room. Those multimedia offerings would come on the screen in front of the passenger seat. The idea isn’t that you would game while you drive — yet. With true autonomy — which Hudson posited is a long way off for the whole industry — using your car as the place you work, post, and game while driving is what the company is ultimately setting itself up for. 

Yep, it’s a big dream. Unfortunately, the “proof of concept” Indi One at the LA Auto Show didn’t make it seem like that dream would come true anytime soon. Good luck, Indi EV. CES is just around the corner!




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