Electric car maker Xpeng is launching driverless features to rival Tesla

He Xiaopeng, CEO of Xpeng, stands next to the company’s P7 electric sedan as he addresses the media at the 2020 Beijing Motor Show.

Evelyn Ching | CNBC

Guangzhou, China – Chinese electric car maker Xpeng Motors has announced a new autonomous driving feature Designed to operate on the highways, it increases the challenge for domestic competitors as well as Tesla.

The feature – called Navigation Guided Pilot or NGP – will allow the company’s flagship P7 sedan to automatically change lanes, accelerate or slow down, or overtake cars and enter and exit highways.

It is part of Xpeng’s next-generation XPILOT 3.0 so-called Advanced Driver Assistance The ADAS system, which the company expects to launch in the first quarter of this year. ADAS refers to a system that has some standalone features but still requires a driver.

Xpeng is one of the EV startups in China looking to race in the country’s growing market as other startups like Nio and Li Auto are fighting, as well as the US electric car giant Tesla.

Mass deliveries of the Xpeng’s P7 sedan, a direct competitor to the Tesla 3 model, began last June. Xpeng delivered 27,041 cars in 2020 – More than double last year.

The NGP is a challenge to Tesla standalone ADAS called Autopilot. One feature of Autopilot is called Navigate on Autopilot, which has similar functions to Xpeng’s NGP.

Electric vehicle companies in China are looking to add more autonomous features to their cars. Nio has its own system called NIO Pilot.

How does the Xpeng system work?

The driver will need to watch the safety video before he can operate the Xpeng highway driving function. Drivers need to keep their hands on the steering wheel while using the vehicle’s autonomous features.

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Then users enter their destination into the map. The car will then start performing some functions such as lane change by itself.

Drivers will receive a warning when they need manual vehicle control, for example, during bad weather conditions or a road accident.

Xpeng says its cars are equipped with 14 cameras and other important sensors. Nvidia’s Xavier computing system powers XPILOT 3.0.

The highway driving feature will be available in the premium version of the P7 and available to customers in China only.

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