Xpeng Motors, a leading electric vehicle manufacturer based out of China, has reportedly unveiled a new feature that allows cars to semi-autonomously navigate through urban routes, rivaling the American EV giant Tesla Inc.
Earlier this week, the EV maker announced the pilot of its new feature City NGP (navigation guided pilot), which it claims would allow the car to carry out a range of driving tasks, such as changing lanes, overtaking, cruising at a safe distance from the car in front, go around stationary vehicles or objects, and maintain an ‘appropriate’ speed.
The system has been designed for urban areas specifically, having more difficult environments for autonomous driving as the route has more objects and scenarios a driver might face.
City NGP is currently being tested with some users that have the premium PF sedan model in Guangzhou, China where Xpeng is headquartered.
When the system was first announced in 2021, Xpeng had released the latest version of its ADAS, Xpilot 3.5, with which cars could automatically perform a few driving functions but required a driver in the vehicle as well.
Both Xpilot and City NGP compete with Tesla’s Full Self Driving Beta, which is currently under testing in the US. During the testing Tesla’s FSD Beta, reports emerged that there were still some technical glitches in the system and it is not yet ready for a mass rollout.
Charles Zhang, VP of Xpeng, stated that with the pilot of City NGP, the company is coming closer to achieving full autonomy.
But the firm will have to prove its system’s safety and reliability to the country’s regulators before it can be even launched across the whole city.
Xpeng stated that those undergoing trials with City NGP need to download the system through an update, go through a familiarization period of seven days and log more than 100 km of driving before the system can be used on all available routes.
The P5 sedan, launched last year, comes with LiDAR technology that creates a 3D representation of the car’s surroundings and enables semi-autonomous driving features.
The system will also be available in its upcoming models, such as the G9 sports utility car slated to launch this week.