The Chinese start-up revealed that it was testing a function called City NGP, short for navigation guided pilot.
According to Xpeng, City NGP will enable the car to carry out a “full range of driving tasks,” such as maintaining a “safe distance” from the vehicle in front of it, changing lanes and overtaking, avoiding stationary vehicles or objects, and moving at a “appropriate speed” throughout the route.
It is not intended for use on highways, but rather for urban areas. Due to the multiplicity of potential objects and situations that a driver may encounter, urban areas present more challenging driving environments for autonomous vehicles.
According to the company, City NGP is being tested with some owners of the P5 sedan’s premium version in Guangzhou, which is in southern China.
When Xpeng released Xpilot 3.5, the most recent iteration of its advanced driver-assistance system, or ADAS, that year, the City NGP was first made public. The software allows the car to perform some driving tasks automatically, but a driver is still required to operate the vehicle.
Xpeng is currently testing Xpilot and City NGP with customers in the United States as a response to Tesla’s Full Self Driving Beta. Tesla’s FSD Beta has been tested, and according to CNBC, it is still riddled with bugs and is not yet ready for a widespread rollout.
Vice President of Xpeng Charles Zhang claims that the City NGP pilot moves the business “one step closer to full autonomy.”
However, before Chinese regulators permit the company to roll out the feature across the entire city of Guangzhou, let alone the entire country, Xpeng will probably need to demonstrate the dependability and safety of its system.
In what has grown to be a fiercely competitive market, advanced self-driving features have emerged as a key selling point for the plethora of Chinese electric car manufacturers. Competitors of Xpeng, such as Nio and Baidu’s electric vehicle business Jidu, are all working on this technology.
People who are testing City NGP will need to download it via an update, according to Xpeng. Before City NGP can be used on all accessible roads, drivers must complete a seven-day “familiarization period” with the system and log more than 100 kilometers of driving.
Like many of its rivals, Xpeng’s autonomous driving system is powered by Nvidia semiconductors.
The U.S. government barred Nvidia from exporting certain chips into China last month; these chips were primarily made to be used in data centers and to train artificial intelligence models.
“The export license required is for the chip on the server side … not on the car itself. So I think for the AI (artificial intelligence) chips used in our EVs … it is for the civilian use so I think right now we don’t see any risk of the restrictions,” Xpeng’s Zhang said.
According to earlier reports, the majority of Chinese manufacturers of electric vehicles will be exempt for the time being from U.S. restrictions on the export of Nvidia chips because those components are used in data centers, not data centers themselves.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)