Chinese smart electric vehicle startup Xpeng has announced a series of innovations that guide the company towards building the mobility ecosystem of the future.
“Our pursuit of more efficient, safe, carbon-neutral mobility solutions goes far beyond just smart EVs, and is the cornerstone of our long-term competitive advantages,” said He Xiaopeng, chairman and CEO of XPeng, at the startup’s 2021 Tech Day. in Beijing on Sunday. “We strive to apply state-of-the-art mobility technologies in mass production models to the benefit of our customers.”
Xiaopeng elaborated on the latest versions of the company’s own Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), Its Supercharger network, the next generation of flying cars HT Aero . manufactured with And its robot unicorn for kids.
The Xpilot 3.5 will be designed for city driving
Xpeng plans to roll out the next generation of its ADAS to drivers in select cities during the first half of 2022. The Xpilot 3.5 will feature a “City Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP)” and will be available only to drivers of Xpeng’s P5 family of sedans, which can be built with lidar, millimeter-wave radar and a 3D visual perception network to capture multiple targets. can identify, classify and place the NGP – all of which are required by the city-level NGP.
The previous Xpilot version, 3.0, which was available to drivers of Xpeng’s P7 sedan, handled highway-level NGP, through which Xpeng was able to collect approximately 12 million kilometers or 7.5 million miles of data.
Xpilot 3.5 will feature a strategic planning module with advanced prediction capabilities that uses a combination of rule-driven and data-driven AI to handle city scenarios, such as avoiding stationary objects and vulnerable road users, as well as any Changing lanes at even speed, exp.
Xpeng’s approach to reaching full autonomy is similar to Tesla’s, aiming to pass through the Level 2 Autonomy, or ADAS system, which is on its way to reach Level 5. (SAE International describes level 2 autonomy as primarily supporting features, such as adaptive cruise control and brake support. It describes level 5 autonomy as a system that can drive anywhere in all conditions. Last month, Tesla released a software update that allows customers to request access to its full self-driving beta (FSD beta) software. The FSD includes capabilities such as automatic lane change, moving in and out of parking spaces, and auto steering, which is currently not available on city roads. Tesla has not given a date as to when it will bring this capability to cities that will be operated using Only vision and neural network processing.
“Human-machine co-pilot tasks will continue to be important for the foreseeable future,” said Xinzhou Wu, VP of Autonomous Driving at Xipang, during the event. “Our The mission is to progressively transition from advanced driver assistance to full autonomous driving with a clear roadmap to fully connect all driving scenarios. Our closed-loop data operations, software iteration and large-scale production capability — all built in-house — put us in pole position to improve security and solve the industry’s long-tail issues. “
Just as Tesla charges for its FSD software, Xpeng charges for its Expilot. Xpeng did not say how much version 3.5 would cost, but version 3.0 currently costs around $3,200 (RMB 20,000), which can be purchased outright or paid for via an annual subscription, said a spokesperson for Xpeng. told .
Xpilot 4.0 to provide full-scenario point-to-point ADAS
Xpeng’s Xpilot 4.0, which is planned to be rolled out in the first half of 2023, will give startups an edge in the race for full autonomy. The first plan to offer a full-scenario smart driving experience from starting the vehicle to parking it and everything in between.
This version of Xpilot will require a lot of compute power, so Xpeng is building a hardware upgrade to version 4.0, “508 TOPS ECU compute power with two Orin-X Autonomous Driving System-on-the-Chip ( SOC) Unit, 8 million-pixel front-view binocular camera and 2.9 million-pixel side-view camera (covering front, rear, left and right views), and a highly integrated and expandable domain controller,” the company said in a statement.
By the end of next year, as it prepares to bring Xpilot 4.0 to market, Xpeng aims to have 75 million miles of highway NGP powered and 22 million miles of city NGP powered, plus a 90% penetration rate of its memory parking function. Is. Valet Parking Assist (VPA).
Xpeng also stressed the importance of safety when brainstorming all this ADAS, and smart driving is only one aspect of it. The startup announced upgrades to its user interface and operating system. Xmart OS 4.0 promises detailed display with 3D rendering of the vehicle’s surrounding environment. Xpeng is also rolling out version 2.0 of its voice assistant to help make the drive easier for drivers.
Finally, just as Tesla has released a safety score for drivers testing its FSD beta software, and has also received a plethora of data for its emerging insurance line, Xpeng is rolling out a safety test to help drivers to understand the limitations of Expilot before activating it. . Drivers will receive a Smart Driving Score, but Xpeng did not specify when.
Supercharger with a range of up to 200 km in 5 minutes
If Xpeng wants to build the smart mobility ecosystem of the future, it needs to power it. The startup already has 1,648 free charging stations in its network and 439 branded supercharging stations across China, but during its tech day, Xpeng revealed plans to produce its next-generation “X-Power” supercharger , which is based on 800V high-voltage mass production silicon. Carbide Charging Platform.
Xpeng says the X-Power chargers can give EVs enough juice to go 200 kilometers or 125 miles in just five minutes and charge an average of 30 vehicles on a single supercharger at a time. The startup also plans to roll out the lightweight 480 kW high-voltage supercharging piles that come with Xpeng vehicles so that owners can charge their cars for the first time. To support this supercharging network, Xpeng says it will roll out power storage facilities in both piles and mobile vehicles.
Xpeng did not specify when this new charging technology would hit the market.
At the event, Xpeng revealed its new goal of becoming the world’s top low altitude manned flying vehicle manufacturer. It then presented plans for its sixth generation flying car. But it’s not just any flying car. It will also be able to drive on the road.
A video presented during the event showed a rendering of a very sexy looking car, even sexier than the Xpeng P7, transforming from a normal car into a flying car via a foldable rotor mechanism She goes. Xpeng says the low-altitude vehicle will be 50% of the P7’s weight, and will have a steering wheel for road handling as well as a lever for flight modes.
The company says that the new flying car will also have an advanced environmental perception system that can fully assess the surrounding environment and weather conditions to perform a safety assessment before take-off. The system will evaluate the data picked up against driving objectives to ensure safe take-off and landing, and advanced perception and flight control algorithms will be used to avoid obstacles during flight.
Xpeng plans to begin mass production for this contraceptive, which is being developed by Xpeng affiliated urban air mobility (UAM) company HT Aero, as early as 2024. The final design is to be decided sometime next year, and Xpeng expects its price to be below $157,000 (RMB 1 million).
Last week, Xpeng raised HT Aero’s $500 million Series A, and HT Aero produced other UAM vehicles for Xpeng, most recently the Xpeng X2, Xpeng’s fifth-generation flying car that can seat two people. Huh. A spokesperson for Xpeng told that the sixth-generation flying car is built for similar use cases in the city, such as getting from the office to the airport, or other similar trips in under 30 minutes of flight time. Xpeng’s philosophy is to sell direct to the consumer, so it will be interesting to see how the low-altitude air rule changes to handle the fast-moving market strategy. The company did not elaborate on how it would work with regulators to mass-produce its flying car for personal use by 2024.
Walking the path of smart mobility on a robotic pony
Last month, Xpeng teased a pony-style robot that kids could ride and interact with. The quadruped would ideally be so perceptible that it would be able to detect human emotions. During its Tech Day, Xpeng went into more detail about how it expects smart robots like this pony to become an intelligent platform for an integrated smart mobility system that can handle autonomy challenges far more complex than vehicles. can solve.
And it’s not just for kids. During the presentation, Xpeng played a video showing how the cute robotic pony can be used to deliver snacks and other parcels in an office setting. (In the same video, Xpeng possibly teased another robotic animal that was also roaming the fictional office, and it looked like Xiaomi’s creepy robot dog.)
Xpeng says the robot will be trained to sense diverse environments and multiple targets with 3D route planning, and will be able to recognize users through face, body and voiceprints. It is also experimenting with technologies such as dynamic acoustic mapping, bionic hearing, bionic sense of smell, and even bionic tactile experience through plantar and fingerprint touch and skin sensing. Xpeng’s robot will have a 360-degree camera module and lidar sensing system as well as object recognition and sound field sensory technology to give it the most accurate model of the environment to interact with.
A spokesperson for Xpeng told that there is no timeline on the way to market for the robotic ponies yet, but there is a prototype that is still in the development phase.
“With the adoption of greater target recognition and precise interaction, 3D route planning that enables more complex terrain dynamics and enhanced bionic senses, XPeng is designed to support broader maneuverability, more autonomous planning, and stronger human-machine interactions. will bring more and more application scenarios for the future of smart mobility,” the company said in a statement.
This news is developing. Please check back for updates.