The Week of Driving Autonomously in an Xpeng

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
the week of driving autonomously in an xpeng

XPeng, a Chinese maker of EVs, sent a fleet of XPeng P7s on a 2,284-mile, weeklong autonomous driving jaunt across six provinces, the longest by any mass-produced vehicles in the country.

A demonstration of XPeng’s navigation-guided pilot (NGP) autonomous driving capabilities is taking place right now on highways in China. Developed in-house, NGP is going up against human driver interaction on the roadways, monitoring the success rate of its fleet while entering and exiting highways, in changing lanes, and in overtaking and passing other non-autonomous vehicles, especially in places such as tunnels.

A junket of considerable magnitude, over 200 automotive journalists, EV enthusiasts, and industry types are along for the ride all week long, starting in Guangzhou today, and on to Shantou, Quanzhou, Wenzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Qingdao, Jinan, and finally Beijing next Friday. If all five seats aboard a P7 are occupied, it would take at least 40 cars to ferry this entire entourage.

According to XPeng, NGP uses navigation-assisted autonomous driving to get from one location to the next, based on a driver-determined, preset route. The system relies on high-precision maps of Chinese highways, and if the P7s are allowed to run freely, they would max out around 105 MPH, fast enough to also test their crashworthiness if that were to occur.

XPeng’s headquarters are in Guangzhou, China, with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and here in the U.S. in the Silicon Valley, and San Diego. The Company’s EVs are manufactured in Zhaoqing and Zhengzhou, located in Guangdong and Henan provinces. Any reported sightings of P7s being driven autonomously in the South Bay of the Silicon Valley, or North County in San Diego yet?

[Images: XPeng]

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  • Aja8888 Aja8888 on Mar 19, 2021

    Too bad they don't sell them in the U.S. yet.

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Mar 22, 2021

    If we’re going to have to put up with the stupid Lexus ad into perpetuity, can they at least put the damn thing into the browser cache so that it doesn’t re-download every time I access a page, chewing through my data plan??!!

    • See 1 previous
    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Mar 22, 2021

      @28-Cars-Later No argument from me on anything you said, particularly about the culture!

  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉