Recap of the XPeng 1024 technical day: new ADAS, 800 V fast charge, robot-animals and flying car 2024

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As part of its 1024 Tech Day in China, XPeng unveiled upgrades to its current EV technology as well as new electric mobility products. This includes an ADAS XPILOT 4.0 system, high voltage “X-Power” compressors and a smart pony-style robot. Finally, XPeng affiliate HT Aero has unveiled its sixth-generation, road-capable flying car, which will be deployed in 2024.

Catching up before XPeng Tech Day

Xiaopeng Motors, or XPeng ($ XPEV) for short, is a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer founded in 2014 in Guangzhou. In 2020, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), raising $ 1.5 billion.

In addition to its flagship electric vehicle, the G3 SUV launched in late 2018, XPeng Motors delivered the P7 sedan in 2019 and recently launched a family sedan called the P5. In addition to making electric vehicles, XPeng is developing its own software and charging products, and has also started to venture into other businesses such as robotics.

One of XPeng’s most interesting companies is its subsidiary Urban Air Mobility (UAM) HT Aero, formerly known as XPeng Huitian. Just last week, HT Aero announced $ 500 million Series A funding led by XPeng Inc. to continue to develop electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL).

Previous versions of these “flying cars”, as XPeng calls them, did not have wheels but were based on the company’s P7 architecture. However, HT Aero recently hinted at a new model that will be able to travel on roads and in the air.

During its 1024 Tech Day today, XPeng unveiled this new generation of flying car alongside several other technologies related to electric mobility.

New X-Power 800V boost battery from XPeng / Source: XPeng Motors

XPeng 1024 Tech Day 2021

The annual event, hosted live from XPeng’s headquarters in Guangzhou, was led by Chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng, who showcased several new technologies that XPeng has in the works for electric mobility. This included some of the potentially fastest EV chargers in China.

New “X-Power” compressors

As part of Tech Day, XPeng unveiled its “X-Power” superchargers, called China’s first mass-production 800V high-voltage SiC platform. According to XPeng, these compressors can exceed a peak current of 600 amps and will be able to provide drivers with up to 200 km (124 mi) of range after just five minutes of charging.

XPeng also shared plans to deploy 480 kW high-voltage lightweight superchargers with IP67 protection and safety monitoring, as well as an on-site ESS to ensure seamless peak charging for multiple EVs at once.

Currently, the company owns nearly 450 branded compressors all over China.

XPILOT ADAS features including park assist and LiDAR renderings

XPILOT updates

In addition to unveiling its new compressor, XPeng shared details on the current and future state of its ADAS known as XPILOT.

XPILOT 3.0 offers Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP) which was released earlier this year. NGP is currently programmed for highway assist driving as the primary function and the automaker’s first step towards autonomous driving. According to XPeng, NGP has already helped its drivers on nearly 12 million kilometers of journey (~ 7.5 million miles).

XPILOT 3.5 is still on track to be initially deployed on XPeng’s next P5 sedan in the first half of 2022, and will support congested city driving in addition to highways.

Improving on version 3.0, the XPILOT 3.5 visual perception network has moved from 2D to 3D detection, with multiple target recognition using additional sensors, including LiDAR in the two high-end versions of the P5.

Dr Xinzhou Wu, Vice President of Autonomous Driving at XPeng, spoke at the Tech Day event:

The human-machine co-pilot functions will remain essential for the foreseeable future. Our mission is to gradually move from advanced driving assistance to fully autonomous driving, with a clear roadmap to connect all driving scenarios. Our closed-loop data mining, rapid software iteration, and mass production capability – all created in-house – put us in pole position to dramatically improve security and solve long-tail problems for industry in China.

In addition to the current XPILOT iterations, XPeng is already discussing XPILOT 4.0, which will debut on a new XPeng EV to follow the P5 in the first half of 2023.

Unlike previous versions of ADAS, XPILOT 4.0 is designed to provide full driving assistance for future customers. The new TBA model will be upgraded with 508 TOPS ECU computing power and two Orin-X autonomous driving System-on-the-Chip (SoC) units.

 XPeng Tech Day

XPeng presents its robotic technology

In addition to discussing electric vehicles, XPeng shared some of the advancements he has made in smart robots, especially his prototype robotic pony.

The pony will be able to perceive various environments and navigate with the help of 3D route planning. Moreover, it uses face, body and voice detection to recognize multiple users. Check out some of the prototype features of an XPeng renderer shared last month:

XPeng also revealed that the futuristic / fancy robot will be equipped with a 360-degree peripheral camera and LiDAR detection system, offering object and sound field recognition capabilities.

The robotic pony remains a prototype at this time, but XPeng said it is working towards further human-machine interaction technology to establish an integrated ecosystem of intelligent mobility.

 XPeng Tech Day
Render of the sixth generation flying car from HT Aero

The sixth generation flying car from HT Aero… with wheels!

Last but not least, XPeng has officially unveiled the sixth generation of its “flying car” from HT Aero, after teasing it last week.

HT Aero’s fifth-generation prototype, the X2, is currently undergoing high-altitude testing, part of HT Aero’s total of more than 15,000 safe flights.

Unlike previous prototypes like the X2 which are technically eVTOL vehicles and not cars, XPeng has revealed that a new vehicle capable of driving and flying is in the works.

This new flying car with road capabilities is currently expected to arrive sometime in 2024 and is expected to cost less than RMB 1,000,000 (~ $ 156,600).

XPeng said the vehicle will feature a lightweight design and a folding rotor mechanism for quick transitions between driving and flying.

Despite the announcement, we don’t know much else about the next iteration of XPeng / HT Aero’s flying vehicles yet, although we did get some cool renderings and an intro video (see below).

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