XPeng To Roll Out Autonomous Driving Feature For Highways

Chinese electric vehicle company XPeng announced the launch of a new autonomous driving feature tailored for use on highways as the competition in the EV market heats up.

XPeng (XPEV) unveiled the beta version of its NGP (Navigation Guided Pilot) highway autonomous driving solution this week as part of a series of road test drives in Guangzhou. The company seeks to launch the NGP function, as a key part of its XPILOT 3.0 autonomous driving package, to customers in China in the next few weeks.

XPeng’s NGP highway navigation feature enables automatic navigation assisted driving from point A to B based on the navigation route and allows drivers to automatically change lanes, speed up or slow down, or overtake cars and enter and exit highways. Initially, the feature will be deployed in the Premium version of XPeng’s flagship P7 sedan equipped with the XPILOT 3.0 system.

“XPeng’s NGP solution has been specifically created and tailored for China’s complex driving environment. Its full-scenario high-definition positioning capability solves HD-map positioning challenges for China’s highly complex road conditions, including areas with no GPS signals,” XPeng said in a statement. “It can identify and avoid traffic cones, warn of difficult situations such as construction sites or road toll entrances, follow on automatically in traffic jams, avoid breakdown vehicles, change lanes to avoid emergencies, avoid large trucks, and warn drivers of when to resume manual control in dangerous situations such as adverse weather or road accidents.”

According to XPeng, the P7 is China’s only mass production car with 360-degree dual camera and radar fusion perception system for added safety. It is equipped with 14 cameras, 5 millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and Nvidia’s Xavier system-on-the-chip computing platform.

XPeng has been ramping up its cash coffers in recent months. The EV maker last week secured a $2 billion credit line. In December, the company raised about $2.5 billion by selling American depositary shares (ADS) at $45 a piece in what marked the first public follow-on offering since its initial public offering (IPO) in August 2020.

The fund raising comes as the Chinese EV maker is working on developing its international strategy following the launch of its first production model in Norway. As part of the global strategy, the EV maker is planning to roll out its second production model, the P7 electric sports sedan, in Europe within the next 12 months. The company delivered a total of 27,041 vehicles in 2020 and has a customer base of over 40,000.

XPEV, which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange after its $1.7 billion IPO at a price of $15 per ADS, closed 5% lower at $47.82 on Jan. 15. (See XPEV stock analysis on TipRanks)

Merrill Lynch analyst Ming-Hsun Lee recently reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $54.10 price target as he expects XPeng to launch additional autonomous features to lure more consumers, which in turn will help accelerate volume sales.

XPEV has picked up 5 Buys, 1 Hold, and 1 Sell which add up to a Moderate Buy analyst consensus. Meanwhile, the average price target stands at $50.62, implying 5.9% upside potential over the coming year.

What’s more, XPEV scores a 9 out of 10 on TipRanks’ Smart Score ranking, indicating indicating that it has a strong chance of beating market expectations.

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