Chinese luxury EV startup XPeng is moving forward with its plans to start a robotic taxi company. The company’s latest G9 SUV became China’s first mass-produced commercial vehicle to pass a government-led autonomous-driving closed-field test, the company said Monday at its fourth annual 1024 Tech Day.
When XPeng unveiled the G9 in September, the company said it would be equipped with XPeng’s new Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), the XNGP, which combines XPeng’s Highway Navigated Guided Pilot (NGP) and City NGP to automate certain driving functions on both highways. and urban driving scenarios.
Now XPeng says the XNGP is good enough to lay the groundwork for a robotic axi network, and the G9 could help scale that network, according to XPeng’s vice president of autonomous driving, Dr. Xinzhou Wu.
“Getting the test permit for our mass-produced commercial vehicles – without retrofitting – is a significant achievement,” Wu said at XPeng’s Tech Day. “Our platform-based robot axi development aims to generate significant cost benefits and ensure product quality, safety and user experience.”
XPeng attributes its advances in autonomy to its next-generation visual perception architecture, XNet, which uses an internally developed deep neural network that delivers visual recognition with “human decision-making capabilities, based on data from multiple cameras,” according to XPeng. to the company. XPeng says neural network technology overrides manual processing logic to constantly improve itself.
XNet is backed by Fuyao, a Chinese autonomous driving supercomputing center, and backed by Alibaba Cloud’s intelligent computing platform, XPeng said. This helps XNet achieve a supercomputing capacity of 600 PFLOPS, which the company claims increases the training efficiency of its AV stack by more than 600 times. This is a bold claim, one that states that model training can be reduced to 11 hours, instead of the 276 days it took previously.
XPeng says the upgrades to its AV stack have enabled the company to build a fully closed autonomous driving data system — from data collection and labeling to training and deployment — that has been able to handle more than 1,000 edge cases each year. and reduce the incident rate for Highway NGP by 95%.
According to He Xiaopeng, co-founder and CEO of XPeng, the robotaxis will also feature XPeng’s new AI-powered voice assistant. The voice system includes Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) multi-zone technology to recognize commands from each passenger in the cabin and understand different instructions in multiple call flows. XPeng says its voice assistant technology doesn’t require an internet connection or wake-up command (like “Hey Siri”), and is good enough to be accurate 96% of the time and run in less than a second.
XPeng will make the new voice assist technology the standard for all new vehicles in China, the company said.
XPeng’s Robot Pony and eVTOLs
At XPeng’s Tech Day, the company also provided updates for its robot pony and flying car. Let’s start with the bangs.
It certainly looks cuter than Tesla’s humanoid robot, but no less fantastic imagining it hitting the market soon. Anyway, XPeng shared some design upgrades to support multi-degree movement and locomotion capabilities, perhaps bringing it closer to moving more naturally. This will help the robot adapt better to “complex indoor and outdoor terrain conditions, such as stairs, steep slopes and gravel roads,” XPeng said.
XPeng also unveiled an improved design for its Electric Flying Car for Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL), which is being developed by affiliate XPeng Aeroht. When XPeng first unveiled its flying car concept, it had a horizontal twin-rotor structure. This year’s design features a new multi-rotor distributed configuration. The test vehicle successfully completed its maiden flight and multiple single-engine failure tests, XPeng said Monday.
XPeng also provided some more information on how a driver would go from driving a car to a flying car – in flight mode, the car is steered using the steering wheel and the gear lever is used to control forward and backward movement , make turns, ascend, float and descend, the company claims.