Xpeng Invests Billions in Intelligent Driving Technology

On Monday, Xpeng revealed plans to invest 3.50 billion RMB ($486.20 million) in intelligent driving technology.

The funds will go to developing intelligent driving technology, including upgrades to its Xpilot advanced driver assistance system. In addition, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker will hire 4,000 new workers, some for its artificial intelligence (AI) team.

Xpilot delivers Intelligent Connect Vehicle (ICV) functions, including Blind Spot Detection, Autonomous Braking, and Door Opening Warning. Also, the self-developed technology allows semi-autonomous driving, which Xpeng claims to be superior to Tesla’s Autopilot.

Furthermore, ICV enables the intelligent cockpit, which allows the driver to control various functions through voice to minimize workload. This includes operating the radio, manipulating the air-conditioning, locking and unlocking doors, and making reservations in restaurants or cinemas.

Xpeng CEO He Xiaopeng said the company plans to launch 30 new or upgraded cars across the next three years. The first models with improved AI capabilities will be released this year, priced around 300,000.00 RMB and 150,000.00 RMB.

He Xiaopeng added that the company needs to chart a path that distinguishes it from the growing number of competitors. China has over 300 EV manufacturers vying for a market share, which is estimated to grow to 2.20 billion RMB ($305.57 million) this year.

Intelligent Driving to be the Future of Xpeng

Xiaopeng cautioned that Xpeng needs to accelerate its intelligent driving technology to survive intensifying competition in the Chinese EV market. Tesla triggered a price war in early January after it announced several price cuts.

Tesla slashed prices for the entry-level Model 3 by 5.93% to 245,900.00 RMB and the Long Range (LR) version by 3.87% to 285.900.00 RMB. Furthermore, it reduced prices for the basic Model Y by 2.82% to 258,900.00 RMB and the LR by 2.12% to 299,900.00.

Overcrowding and cooling demand growth in the industry caused average global EV prices to drop nearly 18.00% last year. Analysts expect prices to fall by up to 8.00% before the second quarter of 2024 ends.

Hence, Xiaopeng stressed that advancing intelligent driving technology will allow Xpeng to stay competitive without cutting prices.

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