Top highlights from Xpeng’s 2021 Tech Day – TechCrunch

Chinese sensible electrical automobile startup Xpeng has introduced a sequence of improvements that direct the corporate in the direction of crafting the mobility ecosystem of the long run. 

“Our exploration of more efficient, safer, carbon-neutral mobility solutions goes far beyond just smart EVs, and is the cornerstone of our long-term competitive advantages,” stated He Xiaopeng, chairman and CEO of XPeng, on the startup’s 2021 Tech Day in Beijing on Sunday. “We strive to implement cutting-edge mobility technologies in mass-production models for the benefit of our customers.”

Xiaopeng went into element on the corporate’s newest variations of its advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), its supercharger community, a next-generation flying automobile built with HT Aero and its robotic unicorn for kids.

Xpilot 3.5 shall be designed for metropolis driving

Xpeng is planning to roll out the following technology of its ADAS to drivers in choose cities through the first half of 2022. Xpilot 3.5 will function “City Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP)” and can solely be obtainable to drivers of Xpeng’s P5 household sedan, which will be constructed with lidar, millimeter-wave radar and a 3D visible notion community that may acknowledge, classify and place a number of targets – all of which is crucial for city-level NGP. 

The final Xpilot model, 3.0, which was obtainable to drivers of Xpeng’s P7 sedan, dealt with highway-level NGP, by which Xpeng was capable of collect almost 12 million kilometers, or 7.5 million miles, of information. 

Xpilot 3.5 may have a strategic planning module with superior prediction capabilities that makes use of a mixture of rule-driven and data-driven AI to deal with metropolis situations, like avoiding static objects and susceptible highway customers, in addition to lane altering at any velocity, based on Xpeng. 

Xpeng’s strategy to reaching full autonomy is much like Tesla’s, in that it goals to undergo Level 2 autonomy, or ADAS techniques, on its strategy to reaching Level 5. (SAE International describes Level 2 autonomy as having primarily help options, like adaptive cruise management and brake help. It describes Level 5 autonomy a system that may drive wherever below all situations.) Last month, Tesla released a software update that enables clients to request entry to its Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) software program. FSD contains capabilities like computerized lane change, shifting into and out of parking spots and autosteering, which is presently not but obtainable for metropolis streets. Tesla has given no date as to when it’s going to carry this functionality to cities, which shall be powered using solely imaginative and prescient and neural community processing.

“Human-machine co-pilot functions will remain critical for the foreseeable future,” stated XinZhou Wu, VP of autonomous driving at Xpeng, through the occasion. “Our mission is to progressively transition from advanced driver assistance to full autonomous driving, with a clear roadmap to first completely connect all driving scenarios. Our closed-loop data operation, software iteration and mass production capability – all created in-house – put us in pole position to significantly improve safety and resolve the industry’s long-tail issues.”

Just as Tesla expenses for its FSD software program, so does Xpeng for its Xpilot. Xpeng didn’t say how a lot model 3.5 would value, however model 3.0 presently prices about $3,200 (RMB 20,000), which will be bought outright or paid for by way of annual subscription, an Xpeng spokesperson informed TechCrunch.

Xpilot 4.0 to supply full-scenario point-to-point ADAS

Xpeng’s Xpilot 4.0, which is deliberate for a roll out within the first half of 2023, would give the startup an edge on its race to full autonomy. The plan is to be the primary to ship full-scenario assisted sensible driving experiences, from turning the automobile on to parking it and every thing in between. 

This model of Xpilot would require lots of compute energy, so Xpeng is constructing a {hardware} improve for model 4.0, “with 508 TOPS ECU compute power supported by two Orin-X autonomous driving System-on-the-Chip (SOC) units, 8-million-pixel front-view binocular camera and 2.9-million-pixel side-view cameras (covering front, rear, left and right view), and a highly integrated and expandable domain controller,” the corporate stated in an announcement.

By the top of subsequent 12 months, because it prepares to carry Xpilot 4.0 to market, Xpeng goals to have 75 million miles of freeway NGP pushed and 22 million miles of metropolis NGP pushed, in addition to a 90% penetration charge of its reminiscence parking operate, Valet Parking Assist (VPA). 

Xpeng additionally careworn the significance of security when churning out all of this ADAS, and sensible driving is just one facet of that. The startup introduced an improve to its consumer interface and working system. The Xmart OS 4.0 guarantees an in depth show full with a 3D rendering of the setting surrounding the automobile. Xpeng can also be rolling out model 2.0 of its voice assistant to assist make drives smoother for drivers. 

Finally, simply as Tesla has released a safety score for drivers seeking to take a look at its FSD Beta software program, and in addition get heaps of information for its budding insurance coverage line, Xpeng is unleashing a security take a look at to assist drivers perceive the boundaries of the Xpilot earlier than activating it. Drivers will obtain a wise driving rating, however Xpeng didn’t specify when. 

Superchargers that give as much as 200 km vary in 5 minutes

If Xpeng needs to create the sensible mobility ecosystem of the long run, it must energy it. The startup already has 1,648 free charging stations in its community and 439 branded supercharging stations all through China, however throughout its Tech Day, Xpeng revealed plans to provide its subsequent technology “X-Power” superchargers based mostly on a 800V high-voltage mass-production Silicon Carbide charging platform. 

The X-Power chargers can provide EVs sufficient juice to go as much as 200 kilometers, or 125 miles, in simply 5 minutes, and a median of 30 autos will be charged on one supercharger at a time, says Xpeng. The startup can also be planning to roll out light-weight 480 kW high-voltage supercharging piles, which include Xpeng autos so homeowners can cost their automobiles, for the primary time. In order to help this supercharging community, Xpeng says it’s going to launch energy storage services in each piles and cell autos. 

Xpeng didn’t stipulate as to when this new charging tech will make it to market.

A flying automobile that additionally drives

At the occasion, Xpeng revealed its new aim to turn into the world’s high low-altitude manned flying automobile producer. It then introduced the plans for its sixth technology flying automobile. But this isn’t simply any flying automobile. This one will even have the ability to drive on the highway.

A video introduced through the occasion confirmed a rendering of a really attractive wanting automobile, even sexier than the Xpeng P7, that converts from a traditional automobile to a flying automobile by a foldable rotor mechanism. Xpeng says the low-altitude flying automobile shall be 50% the load of the P7, and it’ll have a steering wheel for highway operations in addition to a single lever for flight modes.

The new flying automobile will even function a sophisticated environmental notion system that may totally consider the encircling setting and climate situations to conduct security assessments earlier than take-off, says the corporate. The system will consider the info it picks up in opposition to driving targets to make sure a secure take-off and touchdown, and through the flight the superior notion and flight management algorithm shall be used to keep away from obstacles.

Xpeng is planning to start mass manufacturing for this contraption, which is being developed by Xpeng affiliate city air mobility (UAM) firm HT Aero, as quickly as 2024. The ultimate design is to be determined someday subsequent 12 months, and Xiaopeng stated Xpeng is aiming for the price to be decrease than $157,000 (RMB 1 million).

Last week, Xpeng led HT Aero’s $500 million Series A increase, and HT Aero has produced different UAM autos for Xpeng, most not too long ago the Xpeng X2, which is Xpeng’s fifth gen flying car that can seat two people. A spokesperson from Xpeng informed TechCrunch the sixth gen flying automobile is constructed for related metropolis use instances, like going from the workplace to the airport, or different related journeys below half-hour of flight time. Xpeng’s philosophy is to promote direct to client, so it’ll be attention-grabbing to see how low-altitude air laws shift to deal with a fairly quick go-to-market technique. The firm didn’t go into extra element as to how it could work with regulators to mass-produce its flying automobile for personal use by 2024. 

Riding the trail to sensible mobility on a robotic pony

Last month, Xpeng teased a pony-style robotic that youngsters might trip and work together with. The quadruped would ideally be so perceptive that it could have the ability to detect human feelings. During its Tech Day, Xpeng went into additional element about the way it foresees sensible robots like this pony changing into an clever platform for an built-in sensible mobility system that may handle much more complicated autonomy challenges than autos.

And it’s not only for youngsters. During the presentation, Xpeng performed a video demonstrating how the lovable robotic pony could possibly be used to ship snacks and different parcels in an workplace setting. (In that very same video, Xpeng presumably teased one other robotic animal that was additionally hanging out within the fictional workplace, and this one appeared a bit like Xiaomi’s creepy robot dog.)

The robotic shall be educated to understand a various setting and a number of targets with 3D route planning, and it’ll have the ability to acknowledge customers by facial, physique and voiceprint, says Xpeng. It can also be experimenting with applied sciences like dynamic acoustic mapping, bionic listening to, a bionic sense of scent and even a bionic tactile expertise by plantar and fingerprint contact and pores and skin sensing. Xpeng’s robots may have a 360-degree digicam module and lidar sensing system, in addition to object recognition and sound subject sensory expertise in order that it might get essentially the most exact mannequin of the setting to work together with.

A spokesperson for Xpeng informed TechCrunch that there’s no timeline on a path to marketplace for the robotic pony, as of but, however there’s a prototype that’s nonetheless within the improvement stage.

“With the adoption of greater target recognition and precise interaction, 3D route planning that enables more complex terrain mobility, and enhanced bionic senses, XPeng will bring greater application scenarios to support wider mobility, greater autonomous planning, and stronger human-machine interaction for the future of smart mobility,” the corporate stated in an announcement.

This information is creating. Please examine again in for updates. 

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