Geespace launches 11 satellites, enhancing navigation for Geely EVs

Duan Wu Chen, Taipei; Vyra Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: Geespace

Geely Group's subsidiary, Geespace, has propelled itself into the forefront of satellite technology once again. The company announced the successful launch of 11 low-Earth orbit satellites, marking its second foray into this domain since June 2022.

In a strategic move to bolster its satellite infrastructure, Geespace orchestrated the launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, leveraging the Long March 2C carrier rocket. With this latest deployment, Geespace now commands two orbital planes with a constellation of 20 satellites, poised to expand to 72 by 2025 and aiming for a formidable fleet of 240.

It is known that China has placed more than 400 satellites into space, which includes commercial satellites. As intelligent connected vehicles and autonomous driving advance swiftly, satellite technology has emerged as a vital component for achieving autonomous driving in automobiles. It stands as a prerequisite for seamlessly integrating vehicles into the smart internet ecosystem.

Beyond space exploration, Geespace's vision extends into the terrestrial landscape, particularly revolutionizing autonomous vehicle navigation. These cutting-edge satellites boast advanced AI-enabled remote sensing capabilities, delivering unparalleled high-resolution imaging crucial for precise navigation, with resolutions ranging from 1 to 5 meters.

Geely Group, renowned for its innovative strides in the automotive industry, is quick to capitalize on this technological marvel. Several flagship electric vehicles, including the Zeekr 001 FR, 007, and Galaxy E8, are now primed to harness Geespace's satellite communication prowess, unlocking a new era of seamless connectivity and precision in vehicular navigation.

While China's satellite network historically bore military stewardship, the government's progressive stance since 2014 has fostered a burgeoning private investment landscape in aerospace endeavors. This collaborative synergy underscores Beijing's ambitious agenda outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), advocating for an integrated communication, remote sensing, and navigation satellite network.

The mission transcends terrestrial boundaries for Geespace CEO Tony Wang. With aspirations to provide global satellite network services, Wang envisions ubiquitous real-time satellite communication, envisaging a world where every corner, save for the polar extremes, is seamlessly interconnected.

However, amidst the grandeur of space exploration lie formidable challenges. Wang candidly outlines the trifecta of hurdles confronting LEO satellite deployment: streamlining satellite mass production, fortifying transportation capacities for heightened reliability at reduced costs, and, critically, anchoring a sustainable commercial model to underpin this ambitious venture's longevity.

Undeterred by these obstacles, Geespace has established a state-of-the-art production facility in Taizhou, Zhejiang, capable of churning out 500 satellites annually, significantly slashing production costs by approximately 45%. Moreover, the company's strategic partnerships extend beyond domestic borders, embracing a global ethos to usher in an era of satellite application services on a truly planetary scale.

In 2021, Geespace inaugurated a factory in Taizhou, Zhejiang, boasting an annual production capacity of 500 satellites, effectively slashing satellite production costs by approximately 45%. The company has successfully marketed numerous satellites to various entities within China's burgeoning space sector, including startups and universities. Wang underscored the burgeoning competition in the electric vehicle industry, emphasizing the pivotal role of autonomous driving and IoT services. Moreover, with the transition from 5G to 6G underway, the telecommunication landscape is witnessing a significant shift towards the extensive utilization of satellite communication and navigation networks. Geespace anticipates a pivotal juncture in market demand and scale.

Geespace has meticulously structured its operational framework to encompass satellite manufacturing, remote sensing, and communication, facilitating a seamless industrial chain deployment. Collaborating with operators in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Geespace is steadfast in its commitment to globalizing satellite application services.

Additionally, the company is poised to offer satellite application data services to countries within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and those participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, leveraging its proprietary constellation. This strategic alignment will enable real-time collaboration across diverse sectors, including multimodal transportation, maritime, and emergency response.