Chinese smart EV leader XPENG announced that it has received the Guangzhou Intelligent Connected Vehicle Passenger Test Permit for its G9 SUV. The permit allows XPENG to launch Robotaxi autonomous driving passenger testing service in Guangzhou’s Huangpu District, covering all general testing roads in the city.
Why It Matters
This breakthrough comes as the company is set to launch the Robotaxi autonomous driving passenger testing service in the second half of 2023. Users in the Huangpu District will have the ability to hail a G9 Robotaxi through a mini-program app on WeChat, marking a significant step in the accessibility and adoption of autonomous vehicles.
In November 2022, the XPENG G9 established itself as the first mass-produced vehicle in the industry to achieve autonomous driving capabilities without requiring hardware modifications, but through software upgrades alone. The G9 autonomous driving road test vehicles use the same hardware suite as G9 commercial vehicles, including sensors for perception, computing, and vehicle control systems. G9 has also enhanced its capabilities specifically for Robotaxi-related scenarios.
What sets the G9 Robotaxi apart is its zero-modification approach, which significantly reduces the adaptation cost from research and development, mass production to maintenance. This innovative method could pave the way for the large-scale use and commercialization of Robotaxi.
The G9 Robotaxi fleet, with its data closed-loop, will continue to improve performance, stability, and generalization ability more efficiently. Moreover, with mass-produced vehicles, the fleet will significantly enhance the volume and variety of training data collected through real-world operation.
The G9’s autonomous driving system is equipped with China’s first and only mass-produced BEV (Bird’s Eye View) perception technology, XNet. This technology provides a real-time 360° panoramic environmental perception of surrounding road conditions, including traffic participants, signs, lane markings, and drivable space. As XNet technology continues to mature, users will not be constrained by high-precision map areas and will be able to enjoy safe and efficient autonomous driving experiences in more cities and scenarios. The XPENG’s achievement with the G9 Robotaxi in Guangzhou indicates a promising future for autonomous driving.