xpenga Chinese smart electric vehicle startup has launched its anticipated Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) that automates some driving functions in urban environments.
City Navigation Guided Pilot (City NGP), an expanded version of Xpeng’s NGP, which performed tasks such as assisted driving on highways based on the navigation route set by the driver, is being piloted in Guangzhou. Certain Xpeng P5 family sedan customers in the city can now access City NGP through an over-the-air update for a wider rollout, the company said.
Xpeng’s City NGP has been compared to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software – Xpeng’s technology promises to do similar things to Tesla’s ADAS, including cruise control, automatic lane changes, navigating around stationary vehicles or obstacles, detecting and responding to traffic lights, left or right. turning, navigating intersections and avoiding obstacles such as roadworks, pedestrians and cyclists.
At least that’s what the technology promises to do; whether it will perform as advertised is another question. Tesla has faced numerous complaints and lawsuits for failing to deliver on its promised capabilities.
Tesla and Xpeng aim to eventually achieve fully autonomous driving through sequential rollout of their driver assistance systems purchased and tested by drivers on real roads. The main difference, and perhaps the key here, is in the companies’ sensor stacks. Tesla has persistently pursued a visionary approach to full self-driving, which is based on cameras and neural network processing. Xpeng, like most other companies striving for autonomous driving, has a full range of sensors, including cameras, lidar and radar.
“With the rollout of City NGP, XPeng is at the forefront of a strategic roadmap to complete our ADAS coverage, from highways and parking lots to much more complex urban driving scenarios, bringing greater safety and an optimized driving experience to our customers,” said He Xiaopeng, chairman and CEO of XPeng, said in a statement. “We believe City NGP’s continued development and expansion of coverage will accelerate the transformation of our customers’ driving experiences.”
Ultimately, City NGP is a feature of Xpilot 3.5, Xpeng’s latest version of its standard ADAS (as Tesla’s come standard with Autopilot). Drivers driving City NGP will need “a seven-day familiarization period – and 100km of driving – before the features can be used on all available roads,” the company said. Going forward, Xpeng’s full-screen ADAS will be introduced in the automaker’s new flagship G9 SUV, which will launch in China on September 21.
Xpeng did not immediately respond to requests for more information about whether City NGP will be available on all vehicles in the future or whether drivers will incur additional costs for City NGP. Xpilot 3.5 currently costs about $6,420 (RMB 45,000). Tesla recently increased the price of its FSD software to $15,000 in North America.