Still months ahead of customer deliveries, we get a quick glimpse of a P5 driving itself on city streets.
The Xpeng P5 will enter production in Q3 of 2021, with customer deliveries starting in Q4. The P5 will be XPeng’s third vehicle offering, following the G3 compact SUV (December 2018) and the P7 long-range sports sedan (June 2020).
XPeng’s aggressively-priced P5 will cost between RMB160,000 ($24,700 US) and RMB230,000 ($35,500 US) will certainly attract budget-conscious customers looking for a high-tech all-electric sedan.
The P5 is set to be the first mass-produced all-electric car to incorporate LIDAR technology into its advanced driver’s assist systems.
The video above is the first we’ve seen of a P5 driving without human intervention on XPeng’s Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP) system. It’s also unique because the vehicle is navigating by itself on city streets, something that other Xpeng vehicles cannot do.
That’s because the P5 has Xpeng’s latest Driver’s Assist system, XPILOT 3.5. XPILOT 3.5 has city-level NGP, unlike Xpeng’s XPILOT 3.0 which is available in XPeng’s P7, and XPILOT 2.5 which comes in XPeng’s G3.
Gallery: Xpeng P5
XPILOT 3.5’s city-level NGP allows the vehicle to drive from point A to point B mostly without human intervention in challenging city driving environments. As you can see in the video, the P5 switches lanes, identifies a traffic light, and turns left at an intersection, all without any assistance from the driver.
Let’s take a closer look at exactly what the P5 did.
1) It automatically turns on the blinker to change lanes
From the video, we can see that before entering the left-turn lane, P5 first automatically turned on the left turn signal, and then entered the left-turn lane.
The forward trinocular camera on the P5 can accurately determine the position of the front dividing lane. The radars, cameras, and the two front-facing LIDAR units, help monitor the surrounding obstacles at all times to ensure the safety of the vehicle when changing lanes.
2) It identified intersection traffic lights and decided whether to stop or proceed
The video shows that as the P5 is approaching the intersection it detects the green traffic light. At that moment, the voice assistant said (in Chinese) “green light at the intersection, about to turn left”. This demonstrates that P5 can recognize the status of the traffic lights in front of the vehicle, and can control whether the vehicle will pass through the intersection or stop according to the status.
3) Able to turn left automatically at traffic light intersections
Finally, the P5 test car turned left and entered the leftmost lane of the road. The ability to choose which lane to enter after performing a left turn is key for the autonomous left turns. The target lane in the video is one of six possible lanes (a two-way street with 3 lanes in each direction). The P5 uses high-precision maps as well as advanced computer algorithms to avoid the vehicle from taking the wrong lane.
XPeng’s city NGP system definitely appears to be at a relatively advantaged stage, judging by how smoothly the test car performed the left turn.
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