Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Xpeng Motors is poised to broaden its horizons by doubling down on the development of its advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) in China and beyond.
Known as X NGP, where NGP represents “navigation guided pilot,” Xpeng’s ADAS is currently available in five mainland Chinese cities, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Foshan. It is slated to roll out in 20 additional mainland Chinese cities before extending its coverage to a total of 50 cities by December this year. Upon its rollout, some of Xpeng’s P7, G9, P5, and G6 models will have the capability to self-navigate within these cities using the ADAS.
An expanded version of X NGP, called City NGP, has drawn comparisons to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software due to its capacity to execute complex driving maneuvers, including navigating intersections, avoiding obstacles, responding to traffic signals, making turns, and more.
City NGP’s capabilities are powered by Xpeng’s XNet deep learning neural network and its proprietary closed-loop artificial intelligence and data system, allowing it to accumulate knowledge and learn from driving experiences to expand its coverage. The pilot program for City NGP commenced in September last year before it was officially launched earlier this year, starting with Beijing, where it covers the city’s major ring roads and highways.
Like Tesla, Xpeng’s ambition is to eventually achieve full autonomous driving. The main difference resides in the hardware stack. While Tesla is pursuing a vision-only approach that relies heavily on cameras and neural network processing, Xpeng, like many other companies pursuing autonomous driving, aims to accomplish the feat using a suite of sensors, including cameras, radar, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR). During Xpeng’s annual Tech Day event held in Guangzhou on October 24 this year, the company unveiled two key architecture components: XBrain, which facilitates spatiotemporal understanding with the support of XNet 2.0, and XPlanner, a neural network-based planning and control system designed to enable more human-like learning, thinking, and decision-making.
Concurrent with Xpeng’s ADAS developments is its expansion into European markets, encompassing countries such as Germany, France, and the UK. This expansion presents Xpeng with the challenge of ensuring that its solutions comply with increasingly stringent data protection rules.
Europe is emerging as the next battleground for Chinese EV manufacturers, partly due to state subsidies, which the European Union has argued could contribute to unfair competition. The EU has raised an official inquiry in response, with the possibility of imposing tariffs to create a more level playing field for European players.
Amidst this uncertain landscape, Xpeng intends to introduce its NGP product in Europe by the end of 2024, with a commitment to full compliance with European regulations.