Xpeng’s smart driving system XNGP gets major upgrade and is claimed to be better than Huawei

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Today Xpeng launched a new OTA which includes an upgrade to XNGP. The XOS 5.2.0 Beta version has various user upgrades but the most important for users is the upgrade to the smart driving system. The new capabilities of XNGP are claimed to make the system better than the one offered by Huawei ADS 2.0 in various key areas. There are improvements in 426 situations and these include the ability to cross a roundabout without a map, upgrading the U-turn experience, and also the car’s ability to drive on narrow roads.

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The upgrade offers an unlimited XNGP experience allowing AI to drive all over China, furthermore, this is open to almost all users. After enabling intelligent driving a user only needs to set the navigation route and then turn on XNGP and the car can use driving assistance on open roads across the country.

One improved scenario Is the system’s ability to deal with roundabouts. This no longer requires mapping and provides a more natural feeling for the rotation of the steering wheel than the previous version. The system can change lanes within the roundabout and also identify traffic lights at the roundabout, automatically stopping or starting as required. It should be noted that roundabouts are not particularly common in China and neither do drivers have much idea of how to actually negotiate them.

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The system’s ability to undertake a U-turn has also been improved. Xpeng CEO He Xiaopeng said, “for the first time I felt that our U-turn was silky smooth.” Through AI models and observation of humans, Xpeng has learned to improve the system which now deals with the U-turn at a speed of about 7 km/h.

For smart driving systems, sudden obstacles can cause a problem, particularly with cars that suddenly stop. XNGP’s ability to deal with such circumstances has improved. Now when a vehicle suddenly stops in front of the car the XNGP system deals with it far more calmly and without an emergency stop. Another common scenario that can give smart driving systems difficulty is where there is an obstacle in the road but also a double yellow line. Most systems will simply refuse to drive or take any action due to the double yellow line. With the new upgrade to XNGP the car will overtake if possible even when faced with the line.

Another new capability for the XNGP system is the ability to deal with ETC gates on highways for paying the toll. The system can now drive smoothly through them without the need for a driver takeover.

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Parking ability has been strengthened with the addition of tracking and reversing. Now XNGP has the 2.0 system for parking when not in the car and this greatly improves the success rate of parking.

Xpeng is keen to point out that the system does not replace human drivers completely and that the driver still needs to supervise and take over where necessary. In August last year, the company said it had the technical ability to open the whole country. From January 2024 unlimited XNGP has been open to some media and car owners, however this is now being opened to everyone.

Li Liyun, head of autonomous driving at Xpeng Motors, has said that not all smart driving systems are the same and that there are two development paths. Some companies use a whitelist approach where only certain roads in cities are open along with the system only being open to certain users. For others, there is a blacklist where all areas except secret areas are open and it is open to all users. Xpeng Is of the latter group. The system is available on all Max versions of Xpeng models including the P7i, G6, G9 and X9.

Editor’s note:

Last year we got to experience the initial version of Xpeng’s XNGP and were quite impressed by the way it worked on the city roads in Shanghai but were less impressed when experiencing it in Guangzhou. One issue we did have in Shanghai was when the car made a U-turn. While it didn’t necessarily make a bad job of it, it went into a lane and then had to immediately do another lane change to get into the correct lane to enter a tunnel. We are interested to see whether the new system improves such situations. Equally in Guangzhou at one point we had to take over because a car blocked the road and we had to overtake it. From what we know the new system should be able to handle such a situation.

Sources: Autohome, Fast Technology

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