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XPENG Motors Signs Strategic Partnership with NVIDIA for Level-3 Autonomous Driving

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【Summary】XPENG Motors today announced it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with NVIDIA, a leader in AI computing hardware and its China partner Desay SV to jointly develop Level-3 autonomous driving technology specifically for roads in China.

Eric Walz    Nov 21, 2018 12:47 PM PT
XPENG Motors Signs Strategic Partnership with NVIDIA for Level-3 Autonomous Driving
author: Eric Walz   

SUZHOU, China — XPENG Motors today announced it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with NVIDIA, a leader in AI computing hardware and its China partner Desay SV to jointly develop Level-3 autonomous driving technology specifically for roads in China.

XPENG Motors will develop the software for China's notorious traffic conditions using The Nvidia DRIVE AGX AI autonomous driving platform powered by the company's Xavier processor. Fors its part, Desay SV to jointly develop the computing hardware platform to support autonomous driving.

XPENG joins more than 25 companies that are already using NVIDIA technology to develop fully autonomous vehicles.

The company plans to rollout autonomous driving features in phases, beginning with Level 3 intelligent driving features in new models beginning in 2020. These features include parking pilot, traffic jam pilot, fully auto lane change and highway pilot, best route navigation and vehicle personalization.

Dr. GU Junli, Vice President of Autonomous Driving at XPENG Motors; Mr. Rishi Dhall, Vice President of Automotive Business Development at NVIDIA; and Mr. GAO Dapeng, CEO of Desay SV attended the signing ceremony at Nvidia's annual GTC technology conference held in Suzhou.

In addition to partnering on hardware development for autonomous driving, the three companies said they will work extensively on data collection and benchmarking, software development and cloud-based machine learning.

"Our mission is to lead the innovation of intelligent vehicles and make them widely available for Chinese consumers. We are very excited about working with the world's leading players in this field and are confident that this partnership will accelerate our technology advancement," said Dr. Gu Junli.

"Understanding China's specific user scenarios is critical in developing smart driving solutions for Chinese consumers, and we strive to provide them with the best driving experience," she added.

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The Nvidia Xavier SoC

Xavier is the latest AI supercomputing system-on-chip (SoC) released by NVIDIA in early 2018 to support autonomous driving. Nvidia says the Xavier chip is the most complex system on a chip (SoC) ever created and includes more than 9 billion transistors. Nvidia said it invested $2 billion in research and development to developing the Xavier SoC.

The NVIDIA DRIVE AGX AI automotive computing platform is built upon Xavier SoC. The system processes data in real time collected from a wide array of vehicle sensors including radar, LIDAR, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. Xavier is capable of 30 trillion operations per second, while consuming just 30 watts of power.

Rishi Dhall, NVIDIA's Vice President of Automotive Business Development, said: "XPENG Motors is leading the way in China with the production of next-generation EVs that also will need autonomous driving capabilities. XPENG Motor's selection of NVIDIA DRIVE as their AV platform gives them the performance and scalability necessary to bring safe, self-driving systems to the market in China."

"With the rapid development of AI technology, Desay SV is actively working closely with industry partners such as NVIDIA and XPENG Motors to transform the future driving experience," Mr. Gao Dapeng, CEO of Desay SV said during the signing ceremony.

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The XPENG G3 SUV, on display at CES 2018 in Las Vegas

Xpeng, or Xiaopeng in Chinese, is one of dozens of new electric car start-ups that have emerged after the government started issuing special manufacturing permits to companies outside the traditional auto industry.

This new crop of automotive startups are investing billions developing advanced technologies, such as autonomous driving, voice control and artificial intelligence features to take on established automakers in China, such as GM, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Xpeng Motors has financial backing from Alibaba Group Holding, Foxconn Technology Group and Xiaomi. The company will launch its first model, the XPENG G3, a fully-electric SUV, on Dec. 12, 2018 in China. The G3 is equipped with X-pilot automatic assisted driving technology designed specifically for China's traffic conditions, self-parking, an advanced AI voice assistant and a customized vehicle operating system (OS) developed by XPENG.


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