Xpeng rolls out autonomous driving features in challenge to Tesla

Xpeng CEO He Xiaopeng stands next to the company’s P7 electric sedan as he addresses media at the 2020 Beijing auto show.

Evelyn Cheng | CNBC

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese electric carmaker Xpeng Motors has started rolling out its new autonomous highway driving features to eligible customers as it looks to ramp up its challenge to Tesla in the world’s largest auto market.

The electric vehicle start-up announced the Navigation Guided Pilot or NGP this month. The feature allows drivers to automatically change lanes, speed up or slow down, overtake cars as well as enter and exit highways.

It is part of the next generation of Xpeng’s XPILOT 3.0 “advanced driver-assistance system” (ADAS). Customers who have purchased the option on the premium version of Xpeng’s P7 sedan will be able to download NGP over WiFi.

The features are part of a broader so-called over-the-air update that allows customers to download new software via WiFi. It is similar to upgrading the operating system on a phone.

XPeng’s operating system, Xmart OS 2.5.0, will be available to all P7 customers, the company said. It includes an upgraded voice assistant and certain in-car apps.

The company, which is headquartered in Guangzhou, is trying to highlight its software and autonomous driving capabilities as a way to differentiate from domestic rivals like Nio and Li Auto as well as challenge Tesla.

The U.S. electric carmaker has its own autonomous ADAS called Autopilot.

China’s electric vehicle companies are looking to add more autonomous features to their cars. Nio has its own system called NIO Pilot.



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