Nvidia technology powers Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng’s new model


Chinese auto manufacturer Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology Co. Ltd., better known as Xpeng, today announced its latest model, a competitor to Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 that’s powered by Nvidia Corp. technology, will roll out April 27.

The Xpeng P7 uses the Nvidia DRIVE AGX Xavier platform with Nvidia’s most advanced graphics processing units and its Arm Hercules central processing units, along with deep learning and computer vision accelerators.

The vehicle includes 12 ultrasonic sensors, five high-precision millimeter-wave radars and 13 autonomous driving cameras. It also has one in-car camera with HD map and high-precision positioning, with Nvidia’s technology processing the data. The net result is Level 3-ready autonomous driving functions for highways, urban roads and parking.

According to Xpeng, the P7 leverages Nvidia from end to end, starting with its artificial intelligence infrastructure for the development of Xpeng’s own self-driving deep neural networks. Inside the vehicle, Nvidia DRIVE OS is used to allow Xpeng to run its proprietary autonomous driving software, XPILOT3.0 while also delivering continual over-the-air updates. Xpeng is also using Nvidia’s Xavier Deep Learning Accelerators for AI inference used in Level 3 operation.

The P7 has a certified range of 706 kilometers (438 miles), the longest-range electric vehicle in China. The Tesla Model 3, by comparison, has a standard range of 402 kilometers (250 miles) or 518 kilometers (322 miles) on the long-range variant.

Xpeng isn’t yet selling its vehicles outside of China, but the comparisons to Telsa are relevant because the U.S. company not only sells vehicles in the Middle Kingdom but also makes them at its Shanghai factory. Xpeng may expand outside China, however, since the company gained a U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration permit to test the P7 on U.S. roads in March. Official, though, its main focus is bringing vehicles to the Chinese market.

Depending on extras including extended battery packs, the P7’s price ranges from RMB240,000 ($33,900) through to RMB370,000 ($52,200). The Tesla Model 3 ranges from $41,190 to $58,190.

Xpeng also added that it’s actively exploring potential opportunities for adopting the new family of Nvidia’s Orin platform for its future generation of smart EVs. The DRIVE AGX Orin platform was announced in December.

Photo: Jengtingchen/Wikimedia Commons

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