Chinese-based XPeng has announced they have a big OTA software update coming for their P7 sedan on Jan 26th, also known as tomorrow.
The car comes with XPILOT 3.0, which is described as an advanced driver assistance system, but like the competition, is able to provide new functionality over the internet.
The announcement this afternoon of the impending software update is brief, it confirms with a hashtag #AutonomousDriving that their electric vehicle will receive an update to improve its ability to drive itself. While the details will be revealed tomorrow, we’ll have to wait to know when P7 owners will actually receive the update.
While the P7 may not be available in Australia, whenever there’s movement on the autonomous vehicle story, its important to cover. Make no mistake, this is a global race to see who can solve autonomy first and while Tesla is thought to have the lead with their computer vision approach and millions of miles of data, there are others in the field worth watching.
This week Xpeng announced they were going to be the first to implement Amap’s 3rd-generation in-car navigation system. Amap is China’s leading mapping, navigation and location-based services provider.
According to QuestMobile, Amap has over 570 million monthly active users as of September 2020. Currently, Amap’s high precision maps cover over 300,000 kilometers of highways and urban expressways, and are expanding coverage of ordinary urban roads. Its real-time road condition updates cover 360+ cities and 95% of the highway network across China.
In beta test driving for a cumulative distance of 7,718 km, conducted on highways in Guangzhou during 11 to 15 January, XPeng’s NGP function required only 0.77 driver interventions per 100km driven, and achieved a lane change and overtake success rate of 98.65%, and a success rate of 89.52% when entering and exiting highway ramps.
A video posted on Twitter earlier today shows the car rendering the car and the environment around it in 3D. The car has a familiar blue line showing the path ahead (like Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot), while we also see automatic lane changes and lance centering.
From this clip, its clear Xpeng are getting pretty good at copying much of what Tesla offers today as part of their FSD package.
What we don’t see is any indication they’re approaching FSDbeta functionality, that enables cars to navigate unmarked city streets, roundabouts and more. That said, Xpeng does have a Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP) beta which you can watch here.
In terms of technology, Xpeng include no less than 31 sensors in the P7 for autonomous driving functions. These include ultrasonic sensors, high-definition millimeter wave radars and autonomous driving cameras.
The P7 actively detects its surrounding environment, and alerts the driver to potential risks, promptly assisting the driver when necessary.