The project started several months ago and has been carried out simultaneously in China and the US.
According to Chinese media channel 36kr, the senior management of Xpeng said that, at present, the project team consists of less than 10 people. If it goes well, the chip is expected to be rolled out by the end of this year or early next year. The firm uses currently uses NVIDIA Orin chips.
The EV maker started working on the self-driving R&D team in 2017 hiring Gu Junli, a former Tesla technical expert, as the vice president, fully responsible for the establishment of the R&D team and lead the research and development of artificial intelligence innovation and software.
The company's CEO announced earlier at the 4Q 2020 performance conference that they will increase R&D investment in 2021, including hardware closely related to autonomous driving.
At present, Benny Katibian, chief operating officer and Xia Heng, CO president of Xpeng are responsible for the project in North America and China respectively.
It is worth mentioning that Xpeng has followed Tesla's autonomous driving R&D strategy. Tesla is the first auto company to develop its own autonomous driving chip, adopting the technology route of software and hardware vertical integration.
NIO, Xpeng and Li Auto, the three leading NEV startups from China, have all chosen to develop autonomous driving software independently and have also been involved in the research and development of autonomous driving hardware to varying degrees.
In January this year, Li Bin, CEO of NIO, said at the annual press conference that the automatic driving chip is not as difficult as the general chip and NIO will keep investing in its chip producing plan.