During a presentation dedicated to innovation, Nio unveiled a series of new products in the fields of electronics and software. With the highlight being the famous phone announced several months ago.
Tech giants are taking a close interest in the automotive world. Nio is doing the opposite and launching its own phone. Of course, the strong point of this newcomer will be its level of interaction with the vehicle.
Nio being a premium manufacturer, its phone is not a budget device. Priced at 6,499 RMB (835 €), it is more expensive than the iPhone 15 (5,999 RMB)… In its basic version with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. The most expensive version (16 GB / 1 TB) is priced at RMB 7,499.
To develop its phone, Nio did not start from scratch, since the SkyUI interface is based on Android, while the processor is a classic Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC from Qualcomm. Its AMOLED screen provided by Samsung measures 6.81 inches diagonally with a resolution of 2K. The battery has a capacity of 5200 mAh, cable charging reaches 66W, induction charging 50 W and it also offers a 10W reverse charging function, the equivalent of V2L. It also has three photo sensors: standard, wide angle and telephoto with a resolution of 50 million pixels.
Advanced phone-to-vehicle connectivity
Let’s stop with the numbers and talk about features that go beyond a color-coordinated body of vehicles in the lineup. Equipped with UWB (Ultra Wide Band) connectivity, the phone can of course be used as an access key to the vehicle. Including when its battery has been empty for two days…
A special button provides direct access to around thirty vehicle-related functions. For example, you can adjust the air conditioning temperature or even control the seat massage functions… And Nio goes much further than Carplay or Android Auto in terms of replication. In fact, the entire phone screen can be displayed on the vehicle screen, with all its applications.
The camera is also dedicated to the automotive world, with a filter capable of detecting the photo of a car to apply specific filters: black and white background, motion effect, etc.
This phone is only the first in a series, since Nio plans to launch a new model every year. But he also does not want to become a major player in the sector. Its priority target is the brand’s vehicle owners. The ambition would be to sell a phone to half of Nio’s buyers, or around 10,000 devices per month based on current sales.
Nio remains car manufacturer
Nio intends to gain its independence in the field of software, by presenting its own SkyOS operating system, the visible part of which will be the SkyUI interface visible on the just revealed phone. SkyOS is much more than the system behind the screen, since it brings together all of the vehicle’s software functions in the different areas of the cockpit, autonomous driving, etc.
The part dedicated to the user interface on board the vehicles remains based on Android, and now includes an AppStore allowing applications to be added to the vehicle, which was not possible until now.
An “in-house” processor
The Chinese manufacturer also unveiled its first processor developed internally, in partnership with the Chinese start-up Innovusion. This 64-bit 8-core processor will be used as the LIDAR controller. Nio estimates it will save $100 per vehicle, which would recoup the development cost in just one year. This processor will also reduce LIDAR power consumption by half and latency by 30%.
This processor is called YangJian. It takes its name from a hero of a novel from the Ming dynasty, who had the particularity of having a third eye…
With all these new features, Nio confirms its intention to control the entire value chain of the advanced functions of its vehicles. Which actually has a name: Nio Full Stack…
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