The City NGP feature, which allows cars to accelerate, decelerate and stop without human intervention, is the latest challenge for Tesla, the giant EV manufacturer from the United States.
Xpeng claims City NGP will allow vehicles to perform “a variety of driving tasks”, including changing lanes and overtaking, setting a “safe distance” from other cars, and maintaining an “appropriate speed” while the car is speeding down the road.
This feature is specially designed for urban areas. Xpeng revealed, City NGP is being piloted to its premium P5 sedan in the city of Guangzhou, southern China, which is the company’s headquarters.
This feature was first announced last year, when Xpeng released Xpilot 3.5, the latest version of its advanced driver assistance system, or ADAS.
This software allows the car to automatically execute several commands to follow the direction of the road according to the navigation system, but the driver must remain behind the wheel to monitor the car’s performance controls.
Meanwhile, until now, Tesla is still testing the Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta system. After testing Tesla’s FSD Beta, CNBC reports the system is still experiencing technical glitches, and is far from ready for mass rollout.
Xpeng Vice President Charles Zhang said the City NGP feature brought the company “one step closer to autonomous cars”.
But Xpeng still needs to prove the reliability and security of its systems before Chinese regulators allow the company to roll out the feature, either only in Guangzhou city or throughout China.
Sophisticated self-driving features have become a major selling point for many electric car manufacturers in China. Xpeng’s rivals, including EV companies Nio and Baidu Jaidu, have developed similar technology.
Xpeng said drivers who want to try City NGP need to download it first. Drivers also have to go through a seven-day “recognition period” with the system, as well as record distances of more than 100 kilometers, before City NGP can be used on all available roads.
The P5 sedan, which was launched last year, is equipped with Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) technology. This technology uses a laser beam to create a three-dimensional representation of the vehicle’s environment, which will help activate the semi-autonomous driving system.