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Xpeng debuts XNGP semi-autonomous driving system to rival Tesla

Xpeng showed off its forthcoming G9 SUV at the Chengdu auto show in August 2022.

China News Service | China News Service | Getty Images

Chinese electric car maker Xpeng on Monday revealed its most advanced semi-autonomous driving system as it looks to boost appeal for its vehicles amid rising competition.

Xpeng took the wraps off XNGP, its latest advanced driver-assistance system, or ADAS. The software enables the car to carry out some driving functions automatically but requires a driver behind the wheel.

XNGP replaces Xpeng’s Xpilot ADAS system. The company said XNGP will roll out later this year in certain cities in China and it will be available with the G9 Max, its top-spec sport utility vehicle. XNGP is Xpeng’s most advanced ADAS to date.

Features of XNGP will be rolled out over the next two years. City NGP, which stands for navigation-guided pilot, will be rolled out starting this year and into the first half of 2023 in certain Chinese cities. City NGP allows the car to semi-autonomously navigate complex urban environments with features such as lane switching.

In the second half of next year, Xpeng plans to release features such as overtaking and parking.

In 2024, Xpeng is aiming to have semi-autonomous driving features available for all major cities in China.

Xpeng said in a press release that XNGP is the final step “before full autonomous driving is realized.”

XNGP is Xpeng’s answer to Tesla’s Autopilot.

The release of the feature comes at a testing time for the Guangzhou, China-headquartered firm, whose shares have plunged 83% this year.

Xpeng reported a wider-than-expected loss in the second quarter of the year and its guidance for car deliveries in the third quarter disappointed the market.

The company has been forced to hike the price of some of its cars this year due to rising raw material costs. And Covid-related lockdowns in China this year, which have weighed on the economy, have also dampened consumer sentiment.

Xpeng is also facing rising competition from established players such as Warren Buffett-backed place bid and US giant Tesla as well as Chinese start-ups such as Nine spirit Li Auto.

Xpeng has looked to position itself as a technology-focused electric vehicle company, often talking up its semi-autonomous driving system as well as investments in robotics and flying cars.

On Monday, the company said it had obtained a permit to test robotaxis in Guangzhou, a major city in China’s south.

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