XPeng challenges Tesla FSD with City Navigation Pilot ADAS

XPeng Motors, the Chinese automaker EFV, has announced that it has launched a pilot program for its advanced City Navigation Pilot (NGP) driver assistance system. With its debut, XPeng claims to be the first Chinese company to offer such a “high standard” of ADAS for complex urban driving, and continues to challenge Tesla’s fully autonomous driving (FSD) technology overseas.

XPeng Motors continues to compete as one of the leading electric vehicle makers in China, amid supply chain constraints, the real estate crisis and the severe restrictions of COVID-19. 68,983 electric vehicles were delivered in the first half of this year, a year-on-year increase of 124%, which, According to the automakerwas enough to secure its crown as number one in deliveries “among China’s emerging auto brands” for four consecutive quarters.

Although the automaker’s forward guidance expects deliveries to dwindle through 2022, there is plenty to be optimistic about. XPeng is expected to officially launch its new G9 SUV in China later this week, which can charge 200 kilometers (124 miles) of range in five minutes.

As XPeng’s most advanced EV to date, the G9 will also come equipped with XPeng’s highly advanced X-PILOT 4.0 ADAS, capable of full-scenario-assisted driving with its Navigation-Guided System (NGP), similar to Tesla’s FSD technology, but with an embrace of full lidar.

The “highway” version of XPeng’s NGP was launched in China in the first quarter of 2021 on the premium P7 sedan, powered by XPILOT 3.0. This ADAS feature works without LiDAR, but its potential is limited – it allows assisted driving on motorways and highways, but not for city-wide driving.

XPeng teased City NGP for the first time in a video last September, showing a beta version of the software navigating busy urban streets in China without human intervention. In July, XPeng shared more extensive footage of City NGP, which looks more promising than Tesla’s technology at the moment.

According to today’s press release, XPeng has begun a City NGP pilot program in urban streets in China, bringing ADAS technology one step closer to full market integration — a feat that Tesla has yet to achieve.

Screenshot of City NGP at XPeng in action / Source: XPeng Motors

XPeng looks like the best Tesla FSD in China with City NGP

XPeng Motors has officially launched the NGP ADAS City Pilot Program in Guangzhou, China. The ADAS platform is made possible by XPeng’s suite of sensors to deliver 360-degree fusion visualization through cameras, LiDAR, millimeter wave radars and high-precision positioning units.

XPeng’s approach contrasts with Tesla, which previously abandoned LiDAR in favor of a single vision concept. As Tesla FSD continues to expand and improve through the beta phase, the US automaker continues to delay its wide release as its customers wait to deliver on its promise of fully autonomous driving.

In addition to the sensor fusion framework, XPeng has introduced an Enhanced Surrounding Reality (SR) rendering that can visualize and display objects surrounding an EV in 3D on both the digital dashboard and the center console in real time (see above). When the ADAS system is activated in an XPeng EV with a specified destination, City NGP can perform the following:

  • cruise at a safe distance from the pilot vehicles;
  • changing lanes due to navigation decisions or overtaking the vehicle;
  • Dealing with combined or split methods;
  • overtaking stationary vehicles or obstacles;
  • maintain proper speed throughout the track;
  • Automatically detect and respond to traffic lights;
  • Make lane change decisions and inform drivers;
  • Turn left or right and navigate through intersections, roundabouts, bridges and tunnels;
  • Avoid obstacles such as construction, pedestrians and cyclists.

City NGP represents XPeng Motor’s latest development in ADAS and autonomous technology, finally adapting to the toughest environment electric vehicles can traverse autonomously – busy urban streets. Company founder and chairman He Xiaoping spoke about the automaker’s progress:

With the launch of City NGP, XPeng is driving a strategic roadmap to complete our ADAS coverage from highways and parking lots to more complex city driving scenarios, providing our customers with improved security and an enhanced driving experience. We believe that City NGP’s continued development and expansion of coverage will accelerate the transformation of our customers’ driving experiences.

Currently, the City NGP beta program is available for XPeng P5 sedan drivers via an OTA update, but the automaker says the program will expand to other cities outside of Guangzhou in the future. Check out XPeng’s City NGP app from the above video posted in July:

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