Not long ago, LeEco came out with their LeSEE concept car, a fully electric vehicle that's meant to eventually be self-driving, super-smart and, most uniquely of all, free, with the costs paid for by content provided using the car itself as a media outlet. LeEco was targeting industry leaders with the new vehicle, especially Tesla, a high-end electric vehicle innovator out of the United States who constantly push the envelope on automotive technology. In a recent interview with Reuters, however, LeEco co-founder Jia Yeuting did not beat around the bush in referring to Tesla as a key rival and the one to beat. "Tesla's a great company and has taken the global car industry to the EV era, but we're not just building a car.", he said of Tesla's accomplishments and LeEco's goals.
He went on to say that he considers the LeSEE and its future successors to essentially be smartphones on wheels, complete with the full spectrum of normal smart functions, as well as media consumption channels. Obviously, this vision would require the use of fully automated self-driving technology, which has yet to be fully legalized in the United States and some other areas. Yeuting made his goals clear; he wishes for LeEco to "surpass Tesla and lead the industry leapfrogging to a new age." The big reveal of the LeSEE concept car earlier in the week, which will be featured at the Beijing Auto Show, was the first step in LeEco doing just that. In essence, Yeuting is hoping to spark a full-on transportation revolution.
LeEco is one of many Chinese firms that have begun to dabble in electric and smart vehicles after the industry was opened up to tech firms by the Chinese government. The public opinion of tech and I.T. players dabbling in the auto space hasn't been entirely favorable, according to Yeuting, but LeEco's grand plans indicate a willingness to fight for their place in the emerging industry. "It wasn't easy, but here we are.", he said of the ordeal, capping off the interview with Reuters. The LeSEE will be shown off at the Beijing Auto Show, but is likely still far from ready for primetime.