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  • Voltaire Staff

Chinese carmaker Geely deploys 11 satellites for precise vehicle navigation

Chinese automaker Geely Holding Group has deployed its second set of low-Earth orbit satellites, launching 11 of them in space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

The deployment made on Saturday aims at enhancing the precision of navigation for autonomous vehicles.

Geely plans to send 72 satellites in orbit by 2025 and envisions establishing a constellation of 240 satellites, said Reuters. The company made its first launch in June 2022.

Equipped with AI remote sensing capabilities, the satellites offer clear high-resolution remote sensing imaging at 1-5 metres (3.2-16.4 ft), according to the company.

Geely emphasised that beyond furnishing high-precision positioning support for autonomous vehicles, its satellite network will extend its utility to various commercial applications, including connectivity in the consumer electronics sector.

While China's satellite networks have traditionally been under military control, the government opened up the space industry to private investment in 2014. Since then, commercial companies, often with support from local governments, have rapidly entered the sector.

The primary focus has been on satellite manufacturing, with a smaller segment dedicated to developing small launch vehicles, including reusable rockets.

In its 2021-2025 five-year plan, Beijing has advocated for an integrated satellite network for communication, remote sensing, and navigation.

China has at present over 400 satellites in orbit, including commercially owned ones, as reported by state media.

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