Tesla rival Xpeng Motors looking at making own autonomous driving chips

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese electrical carmaker Xpeng Motors is looking into making its own semiconductors for autonomous driving to remain forward of the competitors, a prime government at the corporate advised CNBC.

The feedback come after know-how information web site 36Kr reported that Xpeng had assembled a small workforce to develop semiconductors.

Xinzhou Wu, vice chairman in control of autonomous driving at Xpeng, mentioned the corporate is looking into numerous applied sciences, together with autonomous driving chips.

“Well, I cannot say too much about that … the competition in China market is fierce … so we are looking at all options. What are the best ways to keep our advantage in the competition? So so far we are doing very well in software,” Wu advised CNBC on Wednesday.

“But moving forward we are looking at all possible options: how to keep us … winning this competition,”

When requested if that features exploring in-house chipsets as effectively, Wu mentioned: “That’s one of the directions, yes.”

Wu didn’t give additional particulars.

Xpeng launched a new electric sedan called the P5 on Wednesday. The automobile is provided with Lidar or or Light Detection and Ranging know-how, which makes use of lasers to map the automotive’s environment.

This is crucial to allow a number of the P5’s autonomous driving options which are in-built.

Currently, the P5 makes use of chips from Nvidia for autonomous driving and Qualcomm for its in-car digital cockpit.

Xpeng Motors launches the P5 sedan at an occasion in Guangzhou, China on April 14, 2021. The P5 is Xpeng’s third manufacturing mannequin and options so-called Lidar know-how.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

Designing its own semiconductors might give Xpeng extra management over the mixing between its {hardware} and software program.

The firm has been specializing in growing know-how in-house as a approach to differentiate from rivals in China’s crowded electrical automobile market. Not solely is Xpeng competing with conventional automakers and start-ups, however an growing variety of know-how corporations equivalent to Baidu and Xiaomi have additionally jumped into the fray.

Wu claimed the P5’s {hardware} and software program and “usability of the overall features is much more advanced” than its opponents — and that will give the corporate an “edge.”

Chinese know-how corporations have been placing an growing deal with growing their own semiconductors. Baidu last month raised money for its chip business and Xiaomi unveiled a new chipset for the camera on its latest flagship smartphone.