IPhone in the RV world
Author | Wang Lei
There are really saloon cars that are highly suited to the ideal "high-speed rail".
Pebble, an RV startup, recently launched a smart trailer called Flow. It looks like this:
Unlike the average trailer, the Pebble Flow has a very modern appearance and, most importantly, it is smart.
This is an all-electric travel trailer with auxiliary drive, solar panels and batteries. In addition to camping outdoors, it can also be used as an office, study room, or even emergency power at home.
And this company's founder also has a lot of history, was a former Apple executive, but also gathered employees from Tesla, Lucid, Zoom and other companies.
I believe that in the near future, we can really see the scene of "high-speed rail" pulling the name of "high-speed rail".
01. IPhone, a company called Pebble, is a real new force founded in 2022 with the goal of fully automating the "most difficult part" of RV life.
As its first flagship product and, of course, the company's best effort, Pebble said the RV will be "the iPhone of the RV", just as Apple created the smartphone era, and they also want to usher in the smart RV era.
The biggest difference between the all-electric RV and other RVs is that users can control the various functions of the vehicle through the mobile app, and even achieve self-driving, but currently only support iPhone users.
Car owners only need to download Pebble Flow's dedicated App. After connecting to the vehicle, you can control most of the facilities on the car, such as sunshade, electric step, whole car lighting, door lock, parking air conditioner, parking bracket adjustment and so on.
Most of us are not surprised to expand or retract the functions of awning, staircase and lighting, and the function that Pebble is most proud of is that the mobile RV can be controlled by mobile phone.
As long as you press the mobile button on your phone, like controlling a toy car, the Pebble Flow can drive out of a narrow place and make it easy for the car to drag, somewhat similar to the current parking function.
It can also automatically dock, find and align the hooks of the tractor, and then Pebble uses a special computer vision system and robotic algorithms to complete the connection, a function officially called "Magic Hitch" with an accuracy of 2-3 centimeters.
If you can move by yourself, the car is bound to be equipped with a source of power. Pebble Flow is the world's first trailer with a dual-motor traction system, equipped with two hub motors and 45kWh power batteries.
The RV is scheduled to be delivered in 2024, and if it is delivered as promised, they will be the first company to put such technology on the market.
Autopilot according to the official introduction, Pebble Flow can also achieve similar autopilot functions, users can click the button on the app, it can follow the tractor, and adjust according to road conditions and traffic rules, but the automatic follow function, Pebble has not yet demonstrated in detail.
In addition, when the tractor or other equipment needs to be recharged, the power battery of the 45kWh on the car becomes a backup emergency power supply, which can power all the appliances on the RV and show the remaining power and charging time.
Pebble claims that with a combination of solar panels (1 kilowatt charging) and regenerative braking, the Flow can be stored off the grid for up to a week, and its regenerative braking system can charge itself when towed, even if there is no power.
With solar panels, Flow has become a boon for new energy vehicles. While being towed by the car, it can also rely on its own power system to provide part of the power to help the tractor drive, so as to reduce the traction energy consumption for the vehicle.
What is more, it can also automatically adjust air suspension, air conditioning, heating and other equipment under different climates and topography through intelligent regulation systems.
The price, 780000 Flow is about 7.62m long, 2.64m high, 2.28m wide, the overall use of more smooth lines, the front, side, tail are used black and white collision color treatment, quite a "cyber punk" atmosphere, while adding closed rims and through taillights
The first half is designed in the style of a warhead, which is docked with the rear of the towed body, which can effectively reduce the wind resistance coefficient when towing, and its aerodynamic performance is three times that of a traditional trailer, according to officials.
The nose, which looks like a high iron head, is called the Active Aero front nose cone by Pebble, which automatically rises when towed to improve driving aerodynamics and lowers automatically when you park, revealing a glass that provides a 270-degree view.
There is little difference between the layout of the car and the current RV, from front to back are U-shaped seats with variable beds, kitchens, dry-wet separate toilets and double queen beds.
The kitchen is equipped with a removable stove, refrigerator and microwave, and the queen bed area can be transformed into an L-shaped sofa and workbench by "room flipping".
Of course, the price of such a smart RV won't be too low, Pebble said. The Flow starts at $109,000 (about 783000 yuan), and there is a high-end version that costs $125,000 (about 900000 yuan).
It is worth noting that, according to officials, the $109000 model is only a standard configuration, with two-wheel motors and related self-moving functions only in the $125000 high-end version.
Moreover, your car must have a traction capacity of not less than 2.8 tons.
02. The team of Technology Bull when a startup says they want to upend the industry they are entering, they are usually not favored, but Pebble is different.
In June 2023, just six months after its establishment, Pebble received its first financing when the company announced that it had raised $13.6 million from Lightspeed Light Speed photosynthesis, Yuanyuan Capital, UpHonest Capital and Genesis partner CCV.
It is not difficult to find that the capital behind this round of financing is a lot of Chinese capital, of which Lightspeed light speed photosynthesis has also invested in Wesai technology.
Interestingly, the opportunity for this financing is that the founder of Lightspeed, Kui Qun, learned about the company through the introduction of Li Yifan, co-founder and CEO of Wesai Technology.
The reason why these investment institutions focus on start-ups that are less than a year old, in addition to products, the team behind the company is also an important indicator for them to consider.
The founder and CEO of Pebble, named Bingrui Yang (Yang Bingrui), previously worked at Apple headquarters for nine years, leading the design and development of touch / display system modules for the entire iPhone family of products.
After leaving Apple, Bingrui Yang started working for Amazon Zoox's self-driving car company, leading hardware development, and then at GM's Cruise, where he led all self-driving hardware development and self-driving car integration.
Judging from his professional resume, he can definitely be called a big bull in the technology industry.
In fact, Bingrui Yang himself is an RV enthusiast, setting up an RV company after he went on an RV trip at the beginning of the epidemic in 2020.
He believes that consumers have been tied to the same RV experience, many people want to live a free lifestyle, but often because the product is too weak, resulting in a greatly reduced happiness index.
In general, the RV is not only bulky and unintelligent, and the towing operation is difficult. And as many front-dragged SUV or pick-up trucks are replaced by electric cars, traditional trailers can reduce their established mileage by about 1/3 to half, and the user experience is very poor.
So he decided to simplify the most complex part of the RV experience based on the high and new technologies of new energy vehicles in the auto industry, making it easier for the entire RV to travel. In his words, "if you know how to use iPhone, you can control our products."
Based on this idea, Pebble was born.
Not only that, he also brought in another automotive technology giant to set up its founding team, Stefan Solyom, which is currently the chief technology officer of Pebble. He was a founding member of Tesla's self-driving team, worked at Apple for seven years and worked as a senior technical expert on safety and self-driving systems at Volvo for 10 years. Has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive and technology industries.
In addition to Yang Bingrui and Solyom, many of the other Pebble team members are from Tesla, Lucid Motors, Cruise, Zoox and Apple.
This is how a technical team of former elites from various companies was set up.
"at Pebble, I can see the impact of" Apple culture, "said Dave Rosenthal, a former Apple executive who is now a consultant to Pebble.
The product is really cool, but the price is also expensive enough. At a price of 800,000 to 900000, you can buy three Xiaopeng G6 and two ES7. Will you pay for this product?
This article is from the official account of Wechat: Chaodian Lab (ID:SuperEV-Lab), author: Wang Lei
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