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Faraday Future

Faraday Future will test self-driving cars in California...even though it doesn't yet have a car

This is the next major move for the mysterious, self-described Tesla competitor.

This is all we've seen so far from Faraday Future, and while it's definitely cool, it's certainly not going to "bring the fight to Tesla."

Josh Miller/Roadshow

Is Faraday Future getting ahead of itself? After unveiling a hypercar concept when critics were hoping for something a bit more grounded in reality, the Chinese-backed startup hired a former Ferrari bigwig and applied for Michigan manufacturer plates. Now, it's gained approval to test self-driving cars in California.

The fledgling electric-car startup has received approval to test autonomous vehicles on California roads alongside other manufacturers, a claim that was confirmed by Reuters with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. When Reuters talked to Jan Becker, FF's director of automated driving, no further details were divulged.

Typically, you'd have a car ready to test said technologies before actually going through the motions. Faraday Future unveiled its FFZero1 concept at CES in January, but that's basically all anybody knows about the company thus far. Hell, it even took a while to discover the company's financier, which turned out to be Chinese company LeEco (formerly LeTV).

Faraday Future joins a growing club of automakers and startups currently approved to test self-driving cars in California. The group includes Google, Volkswagen, BMW, Ford and Tesla, along with suppliers such as Bosch and startups like Zoox. It's likely that autonomy is several steps away in FF's plans, so having its ducks in a row ahead of time should allow the company to hit the ground running (or driving) as soon as it's ready.

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