BYD to take on Tesla’s Autopilot with new driver-assist software – report

The competition between the world’s largest EV makers is about to heat up. According to a new report, BYD is set to unveil a new advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) later this year that will rival Tesla’s Autopilot.

While Tesla delivered another record 422,875 vehicles in the first quarter, maintaining its hold on the US EV market, BYD continued its dominance in China.

BYD delivered 264,664 fully electric models in the first three months of the year, overtaking Volkswagen in passenger car sales to become China’s best-selling brand.

The competition between the two is about to go beyond hardware. A new report from HiEV Research Institute, a Chinese think tank, has learned BYD will roll out its new high-speed navigation-assisted driving function (NOA), called DNP, in the third quarter of the year.

According to Car News China, the first electric model to feature the software will be the upcoming 2023 Han premium EV sedan, set to launch in Q4. BYD’s new ADAS will also be featured in its upcoming premium F brand, including an electric pickup and electric Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon SUV competitor.

Functionally speaking, the new software will support assisted driving on highways and may be upgraded to include assisted driving capabilities on some urban streets.

BYD intensifies competition with Tesla with new ADAS

BYD competes with Tesla head-on in a rapidly expanding Chinese EV market. Although the two are often compared to one another, they are two very different companies with a common mission – to advance EV adoption and reduce emissions from passenger vehicles.

BYD, initially a battery maker that later became an automotive manufacturer, has evolved its business to produce affordable EVs. On the other hand, Tesla has focused on the software side of things with self-driving tech, including Full Self Driving (FSD) and Autopilot.

The HiEV report suggests BYD aims for assisted highway driving, which would indicate the tech will compete against Tesla’s Autopilot and Chinese EV maker XPeng’s new ‘XNGP’ ADAS.

Electrek’s Take

After seeing automakers like Tesla and other EV makers in China drastically improve margins with software solutions such as ADAS, BYD is set to follow suit.

BYD isn’t the only automaker chasing software revenue. GM revealed its GM Envolve fleet solutions, and Porsche announced a new partnership with Mobileye this week. Ford’s CEO Jim Farley also stressed this idea on the company’s Q1 earnings call, saying buyers in China are no longer just attracted to traditional luxury brands or hardware design at all.

Instead, the best brands are offering software-defined experiences.

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