On November 3, Hozon Auto, which operates a car brand called NETA Auto, held a press conference promoting its new model, the NETA V Pro. Zhou Hongyi, chairman and founder of Hozon’s partner, Qihoo 360 Co. Ltd., delivered a video speech at the event, announcing that the V Pro represents the world’s first smart car to be equipped with automobile security guarding technology.
Hozon’s NETA V Pro has two versions: Long Range Entertainment and Long Range Luxury. The official prices are 76,900 yuan and 80,900 yuan ($12,027 and $12,653), respectively, after subsidies. The NETA V Pro is particularly advanced in four aspects: intelligence, security, power and services, among which the upgrades to intelligence are the biggest highlight.
The new model is equipped with a fully-upgraded L2 intelligent assisted driving system, high-performance chips and up to 14 high-precision core sensing devices, and is able to sense the surroundings and road conditions of vehicles in real time in all directions, fully guaranteeing the safety of the driver and passengers.
Among the software and hardware configurations of the NETA V Pro, the most eye-catching one is the 360 security technology with three core functions: cleaning system cache, protecting privacy and securing the apps on users’ smartphones.
On October 19, Qihoo 360 Technology issued an announcement officially disclosing details regarding a 2.9 billion yuan investment in Hozon Auto, making it the largest shareholder, apart from the firm’s own management team. On October 26, the investment agreement was settled.
Since the beginning of 2021, Hozon Auto sales have been rising continuously with strong momentum. The carmaker has delivered 8,107 vehicles in October, up 294% year-on-year. Among them, the delivery of NETA U Pros was more than 5,000.
Meanwhile, up to now, Hozon Auto has completed the layout of its vehicle charging web across 100 Chinese cities, with 1,525 free charging stations and 14,399 DC charging piles.
At the press conference, Zhou Hongyi reiterated that he firmly believes smart cars represent the intersection of the automobile industry, new energy industry and digital industry, and that Chinese smart cars will ultimately lead the global market.
Zhou also said that as the product manager, he will lead the Qihoo 360 team to further dive into the R&D of Hozon Auto, using digital technology to fully upgrade the firm in aspects such as intelligent cockpit and automated driving, presenting safer, smarter and handier smart cars to users.
Besides, as a network security company, Qihoo 360 will take the security of internet-connected smart vehicles as its cornerstone, sharing accumulated experience across fields such as network security, intelligent hardware security and vehicle networking security with Hozon Auto, and will further study the security guarantees of smart vehicles relying on the follow-up in-depth strategic cooperation between the two companies.