China’s XPeng wants to launch robotaxi network using G9 SUV • TechCrunch


Chinese luxury electric car company XPeng is pressing ahead with plans to launch an automated taxi business. On Monday, the company said in its fourth, the company’s latest G9 SUV has become the first mass-produced commercial vehicle in China to pass a government-led autonomous driving closed field test. 1024 annual technical days.

When XPeng The G9 was unveiled in SeptemberIt will come equipped with XPeng’s new Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), XNGP, which combines XPeng’s Highway Navigated Guided Pilot (NGP) and NGP . city To automate certain driving functions in both highway and urban driving scenarios.

Now, XPeng says XNGP is good enough to lay the foundation for the robotaxi network, and G9 can help with the network’s scale, according to XPeng’s vice president of autonomous driving, Dr. Xinzhou Wu.

“Getting the road test permit for our mass-produced commercial vehicles – without any retrofitting – is a huge achievement,” Wu said on XPeng’s Tech Day. “The development of the platform-based robotaxi aims to achieve significant cost benefits, ensuring product quality, safety and user experience.”

Image credits: XPeng

XPeng attributes its advances in autonomy to its next-generation visual perception architecture, XNet, which adopts an in-house developed deep neural network that provides visual recognition with “human-like decision-making capabilities, drawn from multiple camera data,” according to the company. XPeng says neural network technology goes beyond the logic of manual processing to constantly improve itself.

XPeng said XNet is powered by Fuyao, a Chinese self-driving supercomputing center, and backed by Alibaba Cloud intelligent computing platform. This helps XNet reach a supercomputer capacity of 600 PFLOPS, which the company says increases the efficiency of training its AV stack by more than 600 times. This is a bold claim, assuming that typical training could be reduced to 11 hours, instead of the 276 days it took previously.

XPeng says its AV stack upgrades have allowed the company to create a fully closed-loop self-driving data system — from data collection and marking to training and deployment — that has been able to solve more than 1,000 advanced cases each year and reduce the accident rate of the NGP highway by 95%.

The robotic hub will also feature XPeng’s new AI-powered voice assistant, according to He Xiaoping, XPeng co-founder and CEO. The audio system incorporates Multi-Area Multi-Input (MIMO) technology to recognize commands from each passenger in the cabin and understand different instructions via multiple streams of conversations. XPeng says its voice-assist technology requires no internet connection or an activation command (like “Hey Siri”), and it’s good enough to be accurate 96% of the time and up and running in less than one second.

The company said XPeng will make the new voice-assist technology the standard on all new vehicles in China.

Pony Robot XPeng and eVTOLs

Xpeng Flying Car Concept from Xpeng Tech Day 2022

Image credits: XPeng

On XPeng’s Tech Day, the company also provided updates for it pony robot And the flying car. Let’s start with the pony.

It’s definitely a cute look from Android Android Tesla, but no less than my imagination to imagine going to the market anytime soon. Regardless, XPeng has shared some design upgrades to support “multi-freedom” locomotion and motion capabilities that might bring it closer to moving naturally. This will help the robot to better adapt to “complex indoor and outdoor terrain conditions such as stairs, steep inclines and gravel roads,” according to XPeng.

Xpeng Tech Day 2022 pony robot concept

Image credits: XPeng

XPeng has also revealed an upgraded design for its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) flying vehicle, which is being developed by its subsidiary XPeng Aeroht. When XPeng first unveiled its flying car concept, it had a two-rotor horizontal chassis. This year’s design features a new multi-rotor diffuser configuration. The experimental vehicle has successfully completed its maiden flight and several single-engine failure tests, XPeng said Monday.

XPeng also provided some additional information about how the driver transitions from vehicle control to the flying car — in flight mode, the vehicle will be steered using the steering wheel and the gear lever will be used to control forward and backward motion, turning up, hovering and descending, the company claims.

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