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Top highlights from Xpeng’s 2021 Tech Day – TechCrunch


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

“Our exploration of extra environment friendly, safer, carbon-neutral mobility options goes far past simply sensible EVs, and is the cornerstone of our long-term aggressive benefits,” mentioned He Xiaopeng, chairman and CEO of XPeng, on the startup’s 2021 Tech Day in Beijing on Sunday. “We attempt to implement cutting-edge mobility applied sciences in mass-production fashions for the good thing about our clients.”

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

Xpilot 3.5 might be designed for metropolis driving

Xpeng is planning to roll out the following technology of its ADAS to drivers in choose cities throughout the first half of 2022. Xpilot 3.5 will characteristic “Metropolis Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP)” and can solely be out there 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 out there to drivers of Xpeng’s P7 sedan, dealt with highway-level NGP, by way of which Xpeng was capable of collect practically 12 million kilometers, or 7.5 million miles, of knowledge. 

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 eventualities, like avoiding static objects and weak highway customers, in addition to lane altering at any velocity, in accordance with Xpeng. 

Xpeng’s method to reaching full autonomy is much like Tesla’s, in that it goals to undergo Stage 2 autonomy, or ADAS methods, on its solution to reaching Stage 5. (SAE International describes Stage 2 autonomy as having primarily assist options, like adaptive cruise management and brake assist. It describes Stage 5 autonomy a system that may drive anyplace beneath all circumstances.) Final month, Tesla released a software update that enables clients to request entry to its Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) software program. FSD consists of capabilities like computerized lane change, transferring into and out of parking spots and autosteering, which is at present not but out there for metropolis streets. Tesla has given no date as to when it is going to carry this functionality to cities, which might be powered using solely imaginative and prescient and neural community processing.

“Human-machine co-pilot features will stay vital for the foreseeable future,” mentioned XinZhou Wu, VP of autonomous driving at Xpeng, throughout the occasion. “Our mission is to progressively transition from superior driver help to full autonomous driving, with a transparent roadmap to first utterly join all driving eventualities. Our closed-loop information operation, software program iteration and mass manufacturing functionality – all created in-house – put us in pole place to considerably enhance security and resolve the trade’s long-tail points.”

Simply as Tesla costs 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 at present prices about $3,200 (RMB 20,000), which will be bought outright or paid for by way of annual subscription, an Xpeng spokesperson advised 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 a whole lot of compute energy, so Xpeng is constructing a {hardware} improve for model 4.0, “with 508 TOPS ECU compute energy supported by two Orin-X autonomous driving System-on-the-Chip (SOC) items, 8-million-pixel front-view binocular digicam and a pair of.9-million-pixel side-view cameras (overlaying entrance, rear, left and proper view), and a extremely built-in and expandable area controller,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.

By the tip 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 price of its reminiscence parking perform, Valet Parking Help (VPA). 

Xpeng additionally harassed the significance of security when churning out all of this ADAS, and sensible driving is just one side 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 atmosphere surrounding the automobile. Xpeng can be rolling out model 2.0 of its voice assistant to assist make drives smoother for drivers. 

Lastly, simply as Tesla has released a safety score for drivers seeking to check its FSD Beta software program, and in addition get heaps of knowledge for its budding insurance coverage line, Xpeng is unleashing a security check to assist drivers perceive the boundaries of the Xpilot earlier than activating it. Drivers will obtain a sensible 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 supply its subsequent technology “X-Energy” superchargers based mostly on a 800V high-voltage mass-production Silicon Carbide charging platform. 

The X-Energy chargers may give EVs sufficient juice to go as much as 200 kilometers, or 125 miles, in simply 5 minutes, and a mean of 30 autos will be charged on one supercharger at a time, says Xpeng. The startup can 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. With a purpose to assist this supercharging community, Xpeng says it is 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 automotive that additionally drives

On the occasion, Xpeng revealed its new purpose to change into the world’s prime low-altitude manned flying automobile producer. It then introduced the plans for its sixth technology flying automotive. However this isn’t simply any flying automotive. This one will even have the ability to drive on the highway.

A video introduced throughout the occasion confirmed a rendering of a really attractive wanting automotive, even sexier than the Xpeng P7, that converts from a standard automotive to a flying automotive by way of a foldable rotor mechanism. Xpeng says the low-altitude flying automobile might 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 brand new flying automotive will even characteristic a sophisticated environmental notion system that may totally consider the encircling atmosphere and climate circumstances to conduct security assessments earlier than take-off, says the corporate. The system will consider the information it picks up towards driving targets to make sure a secure take-off and touchdown, and throughout the flight the superior notion and flight management algorithm might 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 mentioned Xpeng is aiming for the fee to be decrease than $157,000 (RMB 1 million).

Final week, Xpeng led HT Aero’s $500 million Collection 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 advised TechCrunch the sixth gen flying automotive is constructed for comparable metropolis use circumstances, like going from the workplace to the airport, or different comparable journeys beneath 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 rules shift to deal with a somewhat quick go-to-market technique. The corporate didn’t go into extra element as to how it will work with regulators to mass-produce its flying automotive for personal use by 2024. 

Driving the trail to sensible mobility on a robotic pony

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

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

The robotic might be skilled to understand a various atmosphere and a number of targets with 3D route planning, and it’ll have the ability to acknowledge customers by way of facial, physique and voiceprint, says Xpeng. It’s also experimenting with applied sciences like dynamic acoustic mapping, bionic listening to, a bionic sense of scent and even a bionic tactile expertise by way of 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 area sensory expertise in order that it may well get probably the most exact mannequin of the atmosphere to work together with.

A spokesperson for Xpeng advised 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 growth stage.

“With the adoption of larger goal recognition and exact interplay, 3D route planning that permits extra advanced terrain mobility, and enhanced bionic senses, XPeng will carry larger utility eventualities to assist wider mobility, larger autonomous planning, and stronger human-machine interplay for the way forward for sensible mobility,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.

This information is growing. Please verify again in for updates. 



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