The Chinese electric carmaker, Xpeng motors, has announced a new autonomous driving feature designed to work on highways, as it ramps up to challenge domestic rivals as well as Tesla.
Xpeng is one of China’s electric vehicle start-ups looking to race ahead of its competitors such as Nio and Li Auto, as well as U.S. electric car giant Tesla in the country’s growing market.
New feature to be added to the company’s flagship P7 sedan
The new autonomous driving feature will allow the company’s flagship P7 sedan to automatically change lanes, speed up or slow down, overtake cars, enter and exit highways.
The feature—called Navigation Guided Pilot or NGP—is part of the next generation of Xpeng’s XPILOT 3.0 advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS).
ADAS is expected by the company to launch in the first quarter of this year. ADAS refers to a system with some autonomous features, but a driver is still required.
Xpengs new feature a direct challenge to Tesla’s autonomous feature
The NGP is a challenge to Tesla’s autonomous ADAS called Autopilot. Autopilot features a program known as Navigate on Autopilot, which has similar functions to Xpeng’s NGP.
Mass deliveries of Xpeng’s P7 sedan, also a direct rival to Tesla’s Model 3, began last June. In 2020, Xpeng delivered 27,041 vehicles—more than double from a year ago.
Xpeng says its cars are equipped with 14 cameras and other critical sensors.
How the autonomous feature in Xpeng P7 sedan functions
A driver will first need to watch a safety video before being able to turn on Xpeng’s highway driving function.
Drivers need to keep their hands on the wheel while using the vehicle’s autonomous driving features. Users then input their destination into the map. Finally, the car will begin to carry out some functions like lane switching by itself.