Launching a car is a stressful experience, especially when it is for your first ever vehicle, at the biggest tech expo in the world.
That is what the Chinese electric vehicle startup Faraday Future was facing when it unveiled its production car, the FF91 at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Faraday Future has faced intense scrutiny from the media, with reports of high-level executives leaving en-masse, and financial troubles.
However, all of that was put into the background at CES, with the reveal of their very first production car, the FF91.
But all the hard work put into getting the car ready for the show was undone, with just over a minute of painfully awkward failure.
As the company’s senior vice president of R&D and engineering, Nick Sampson, and the company’s main financier, Jia Yueting, attempted to showcase the car’s impressive autonomous parking features, it all went horribly wrong.
A button was pressed, the audience waited in anticipation, and…nothing happened. Instead, Sampson and Yueting were forced to stand in agonising, awkward, silence while the car just sat where it was.
“It seems like it’s a little… lazy tonight,” Sampson added to break the silence.
A second attempt later in Sampson’s presentation didn’t go much better, with the car simply rolling approximately six metres before coming to a stop.
Sampson later responded to media enquiries about why the system may have failed.
“Outside, it was working perfectly, that’s why we made that demonstration outside cause we knew there were technical challenges,” he said. “If we look up at the roof of this building there’s a lot of steel structure up there that’d [prohibit] some of the signals.”
A self-parking feature that can be foiled by steel might not be great in parking towers or under high-rise apartments.
Regardless, Faraday Future has some teething issues to sort out before they debut the technology in the production FF91.