Pandaily reports that Chinese electric carmaker XPeng just completed an 8-day, 2200-mile (3600-kilometer) test of its advanced driver assistance system, called Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP).
The route began at XPeng’s headquarters in Guangzhou and proceeded along the coast, through Shanghai, to Beijing.
According to the report, driver intervention was required approximately once every 85 miles (140 kilometers), which seems pretty good but quite a ways from driver-out-of-the-loop levels.
XPeng’s CEO, He Xiaopeng, seemed to acknowledge as much, stating the company is working hard at becoming a world leader:
“However, we still have a long way to go to become the world’s No. 1. We, as a team, need to persevere and prove ourselves through actual data. The increasingly fierce competition for autonomous driving technology is driving the era of smart car revolution.”
Pandaily compares NDP explicitly to Tesla AutoPilot. Neither systems utilizes lidar, and XPeng’s system runs on NVIDIA hardware, as opposed to Tesla’s custom compute platform.
To the extent that Americans follow electric and autonomous vehicles in China, NIO tends to have more mindshare than XPeng. However, XPeng is only somewhat smaller than NIO, in terms of vehicle deliveries, and I wonder if we’ll hear more about them in the US over the next year.