BEIJING — China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group said on Tuesday it was investing 2.27 billion yuan ($326 million) in a new satellite manufacturing plant, where it plans to build low-orbit satellites to provide more accurate data for self-driving cars.
Geely, one of China’s most internationally-known companies due to its investments in Daimler, Volvo and Proton, is building the facilities in Taizhou, where it has car plants. It aims to produce 500 satellites a year by around 2025, with around 300 highly-skilled staff, it said in a statement.
Geely’s technology development arm, Geely Technology Group, launched Geespace to research, launch, and operate low-orbit satellites in 2018.
Geespace will begin the launch of its commercial low-orbit satellite network by the end of this year, Geely said.
Geely said low-orbit satellites would offer high speed internet connectivity, precise navigation, and cloud computing capabilities to cars with autonomous driving technology.
It is building low-orbit satellites to meet demand for high-speed connectivity capabilities that can deliver fast software updates. From around 2025, Geely’s cars will have more functions to connect to the satellites.