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Ex-BMW team unveils the self-driving Canoo van

Ex-BMW team unveils the self-driving Canoo van

After nineteen months of development, a team of former BMW employees has built its first self-driving vehicle called the Canoo. After nineteen months of development, a team of former BMW employees has built its first self-driving vehicle called the Canoo.

The young company is headquartered in Torrance, California, USA, and headed by Ulrich Kranz. Richard Kim, who designed the BMW i3 and i8, fulfils the role of the chief designer.

The compact van comes powered by a single rear-axle-mounted electric motor rated at 304 hp (226 kW). An 80-kWh battery gives it 250 miles (402 kilometers) of EPA-rated range. Charging from zero to 80% takes roughly 30 minutes. Later on, the company considers adding a motor to the front axle as well.

The exact dimensions are unknown, but the van is said to be six or seven inches longer than the latest Volkswagen Golf. That would make it between 4,410 and 4,436 millimeters (14.47 – 14.55 feet) long.

The car takes advantage of a Level 2 autonomous driver tech based on 7 cameras, 5 radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors. A LIDAR, more sensors and revised software are said to be coming soon.

The firm plans to begin road-testing the Canoo early next year and launch it in the USA and China in 2021. The vehicle will be available via subscription (down payment + fixed monthly fee).

The startup’s future plans include designing a compact urban car, a spacious taxi, and a full-sized van.

Editor Andrew Raspopov

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