China’s Alibaba teams up with Tesla rival Xpeng on driverless cars

XPeng remains to be targeted in boosting the gross sales of its electrical cars. But it has been focusing on constructing out future companies in flying cars and robotics.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Chinese e-commerce big Alibaba and electrical automobile startup Xpeng are opening a computing heart to coach software program for driverless cars, the 2 corporations stated Tuesday.

Autonomous driving techniques require large quantities of information to be processed in an effort to prepare algorithms.

Xpeng claims that the brand new computing heart will scale back the coaching time for its core autonomous driving mannequin from seven days to inside an hour.

The Guangzhou-headquartered firm will use expertise from Alibaba’s cloud division for its computing wants. The computing heart known as Fuyao shall be positioned within the area of Inner Mongolia in northern China.

Alibaba, an investor in Xpeng, has been making an attempt to bolster its cloud computing division amid a slowdown in its core commerce enterprise. The transfer additionally highlights how China’s expertise giants try to leap into the fast-growing electrical automobile area.

Tencent, for instance, is making an attempt to place itself because the go-to expertise firm for international automakers to make use of for numerous automotive technology-related providers after they enter the Chinese market.

For Xpeng, the transfer marks its ambitions to tug forward within the fiercely aggressive electrical automobile market in China and try and problem giants Tesla and Warren Buffett-backed BYD. China’s electrical automobile startups from Nio to Xpeng see autonomous driving options as a means to do this.

Xpeng has a complicated driver-assistance system, or ADAS, known as XPILOT put in in a few of its autos. Users who go for this characteristic can get some autonomous options equivalent to automated lane switching.

Last yr, Xpeng launched the City NGP, which stands for navigation guided pilot. The system permits Xpeng’s cars to alter lanes, velocity up or decelerate, or overtake cars and enter and exit highways. Previously the system was designed only for highways, but it surely has now been designed for cities too.

Xpeng has tried to place itself extra like a expertise firm reasonably than an automaker and has been investing in areas equivalent to robotics and flying passenger drones.

Chinese regulators have, for essentially the most half, been fairly encouraging of autonomous driving expertise. Various cities throughout the nation have allowed home driverless automotive companies to check and even launch robotaxi providers too.

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