The short version of the story is that LeEco unveiled an autonomous electric-vehicle concept called the LeSee Pro at a lavish event in San Francisco last week.
The longer version is a little more complicated. Pull up a chair.
LeEco is the Chinese digital conglomerate, a sort of Netflix meets Apple. Its brands make everything from sleek 85-inch TVs to smartphones to the content that streams on the devices. Having conquered China, LeEco is looking to crack into the U.S. marketplace, hence a spare-no-expense unveiling of all its key products to San Francisco's tech geeks last week.
It also has the LeSee, an autonomous concept car that its automotive division unveiled at the Beijing auto show in April. So far, LeEco hasn't indicated that it's anything more than a think piece.
After the Beijing show, LeEco updated the concept with a slightly new face and upgrades like a fold-away steering wheel and wireless charging. That car, called the LeSee Pro, was tied up in London, being used by Michael Bay for the next Transformers movie. For the San Francisco event, LeEco had even prepared a video featuring the car and Bay joking that he wouldn't give it back.
The crowd there would have to settle for a look-see at the original LeSee. Except that the truck carrying the car from Los Angeles to San Francisco crashed, severely damaging the concept, according to LeEco. So it scrambled to get the Pro out of Bay's clutches in London and shipped to San Francisco in time for the event. It almost made it, missing the window to get on stage by minutes.
So LeEco founder and CEO Jia Yueting ran on stage, gave his remarks and invited the hordes of techies to see the car in LeEco's experience center after the presentations -- which they did.