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December 5, 2023
The rollout of Chinese automaker XPeng’s highly advanced driver assistance technology is gaining momentum.
The Guangzhou-based company has confirmed that its XNGP package is now available for use in an additional 20 cities across China, following its limited early release in a handful of locations.
The new cities include Suzhou, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Ningbo, which join the early pioneers Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Foshan and, of course, XPeng’s hometown.
The software can be downloaded via an over-the-air update to be used on selected versions of the company’s EVs, including the G9 SUV and P5 and P7 sedans.
XNGP has been highly touted by XPeng, with the feature described by the company as “the last step before full autonomous driving is realized” and said to provide “full-scenario driver assistance, anytime and anywhere.”
It incorporates both Navigated Guided Pilot tech for highways, plus City Navigated Pilot tech for urban environments, to deliver automated functionality on both.
In the latter, this facilitates a wide array of capabilities, including cruising at a set, safe distance from vehicles in front, changing lanes, handling merging or splitting roads, negotiating stationary vehicles and maintaining appropriate speeds.
It can also detect and react to traffic lights, navigate intersections, take left or right turns, negotiate roundabouts, viaducts and tunnels and steer clear of construction vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists, plus provide parking assistance.
While this functionality is allowed by hardware on cars that includes lidar and cameras, XPeng has moved away from high-precision mapping for its City NGP solution and will instead focus on lighter mapping and, ultimately, increasing the use of AI.
The company explained how this would work at its tech day in October, saying: “This feature is not restricted by city. After turning on the AI Driving function, users can set the starting point and end point across the country. After driving once manually, a memory map can be formed. When selecting the route later, the AI Driving function can be used to achieve individual routes or specific scenario-based urban navigation assisted driving.”
According to XPeng’s own timetable – also revealed at its October tech day – coverage of XPNG will be further extended to 50 cities across China by the end of the year.
And the company isn’t just setting its sights on its home country. XPeng cars are already on sale in the Netherlands and Norway, and it has outlined plans to expand to Germany, France and the U.K. next year, with driver-assistance tech available in Europe by the end of 2024, subject to regulatory approval.
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