XPeng Inc., a Chinese smart EV company, announced that it has successfully obtained the Guangzhou Intelligent Connected Vehicle Road Test Permit (“the Permit”), making XPENG G9 the first unmodified commercial vehicle to qualify for autonomous driving tests on designated public roads in China.
The achievement marks a major industry milestone in the path towards mass production of robotaxis as well as future commercialization of robotaxi as a service.
On October 31, XPENG received the Permit following approvals from the Industry and Information Technology Bureau, Public Security Bureau and the Transport Bureau of Guangzhou Municipality. Mass-produced XPENG G9 SUVs, without any hardware reconfiguration but only software upgrades, are now qualified to conduct autonomous driving tests on designated public roads in Guangzhou, China.
“Securing the autonomous driving road testing permit for a commercial vehicle is a strong endorsement of our autonomous driving deep R&D and software capabilities,” said Dr. Xinzhou Wu, Vice President of Autonomous Driving Center at XPENG. “Our approach by using mass-produced commercial vehicles to explore mobility solutions will build a strong foundation to realize economies of scale. Significant cost efficiency brings us another step closer to commercializing robotaxis in the future.”
XPENG expects to leverage its platform-based technology stack to generate synergies as it integrates its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) with autonomous driving machine-learning-based training models to accelerate software iterations with closed-loop data feedback.
The G9 autonomous driving road test vehicles utilize the same hardware suite as G9 commercial vehicles, including sensors for perception, computing and vehicle control systems.