XPeng Tech Day 2023 recap: X9 revealed, plus AI valet driver, two new flying cars, and bipedal robot

XPeng Inc. held its fifth annual Tech Day 2023 event in Guangzhou, China today, showcasing some of its latest milestones across a plethora of EV adjacent technologies. The keynote included full-autonomous driving, an AI-powered driving feature that will learn specific routes and take over for drivers, new software, an EV with an aircraft in the back, and even a new humanoid robot.

As promised, we tuned into XPeng’s 2023 Tech Day event live from China this morning, offering you the following recap before the english broadcast goes live later. We always look forward to XPeng’s 1024 Tech Day, because it’s usually when the Chinese electric mobility company showcases its newest technology, and it’s usually some pretty exciting stuff.

Last year’s event included the debut of 480 kW superchargers, an overhaul of its XPILOT ADAS, and even a robotic pony prototype designed to entertain children. Not to mention an EV/eVTOL crossover that can actually drive, park, engage propellers, and take to the sky.

XPeng ($XPEV) began teasing today’s event on social media last week, relaying that the public could expect updates pertaining to the company’s autonomous driving and ADAS capabilities, as well as advancements in robotics. A new technology teased in the banners for Tech Day 2023 however, was AI.

Following today’s presentation, we did in fact get updates to all of the technologies above and then some. As for the AI – XPeng has introduced a new ADAS feature that includes an AI valet driver to chauffeur passengers around. Lest we not forget the debut of the X9 MPV as well (seen below).

  • XPeng Tech Day 2023
  • XPeng Tech Day 2023

X9 first look, XPeng’s Tesla Bot competitor, and more

Since you’re already looking at the incoming X9, we will start there. XPeng teased a camo’d version of its first multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) back in early September after first announcing its nomenclature back in May.

The X9 arrives as XPeng Motors’ sixth EV model, joining the lineup this quarter behind the G6 crossover which has found early success. The Chinese automaker previously shared that it remained conscious as to how younger consumers might relate to an MPV when it designed the seven seat X9.

XPeng says the X9 will arrives as the world’s only MPV equipped with rear-wheel steering as a standard configuration, sitting atop the automaker’s 800V silicon-carbon (SiC) SEPA 2.0 platform. The MPV also features integrated front and rear aluminum body die-casting technology, and XNGP.

Speaking of XNGP, XPeng shared some encouraging progress during Tech Day 2023. Already available in five Chinese cities, this autonomous ADAS feature is currently undergoing testing to expand its availability for more urban roadways, and doing so quickly.

XPeng says it will roll out XNGP to 20 additional cities via OTA update by the end of November and intends to bolster that number to 50 before year’s end. Here’s a screen shot followed by video footage of XNGP autonomously navigating congested city streets in Southwestern China at night.

XPeng Tech Day 2023
XPeng’s XNGP driving technology / Credit: XPeng

Last week, we were trying to surmise what sort of AI would debut during XPeng’s Tech Day 2023, and we now have out answer. Today, the company introduced AI Valet Driver – a new ADAS feature that learns and saves specific routes after the EV owner manually drives it once. The system can then take over and drive that same route for you autonomously going forward – specifically in city driving scenarios.

To finally achieve full-scenario ADAS, XPeng also introduced a slew of new architecture technologies. Per the company release:

XPeng’s prowess lies in its continuous leadership in research and development capabilities. At the Tech Day, the Company also presented its ultimate architecture for full-scenario ADAS – Xbrain, which is supported by XNet2.0, the next-gen perception architecture with spatial understanding, and XPlanner, the neural network-based planning and control system, to enable more human-like learning, thinking and actions. 

Additionally, XPeng introduced a new smart cabin operating system called XOS Tianji, which “advances the human-machine co-driving experience,” integrating its large scale XGPT AI model into future EVs to deliver faster and more concise responses to driver and passenger voice commands. The XOS Tianji smart cabin system will debut on the aforementioned X9, which will be showcased further during Auto Guangzhou next month.

  • XPeng Tech Day 2023
  • XPeng Tech Day 2023
  • XPeng Tech Day 2023

XPeng Tech Day 2023 features plenty of AI and a flying car

As promised, there was no shortage of AI news during XPeng’s 2023 Tech Day. In addition to Valet Driver and XGPT, the technology company introduced further innovations in another interesting segment – robotics.

During last year’s event, we saw a four-legged robot pony friend designed for children, followed by a more advanced “unicorn” robot. XPeng has gone bipedal this year, introducing its own humanoid bot called the PX5, developed in-house. This all-terrain, obstacle crossing bot can currently complete straight-leg and large-stride walking and has a dual-finger gripping force of 1 kg. Each arm can carry a maximum load of 3kg and XPeng is touting repeated positioning accuracy of 0.05 mm.

During the Tech Day presentation, XPeng shared images of the PX5 in multiple scenarios, including assisting in factories and welcoming guests at EV showrooms.

Last but not least, XPeng Inc.’s eVTOL affiliate AeroHT continues to make progress in genuine flying cars. Last year was pretty exciting, as we got to see AeroHT’s sixth-generation flying car. Not to be outdone, XPeng introduced two new flying car/eVTOL developments during Tech Day 2023.

The first is a sharper version of last year’s model that took flight – it’s a passenger EV that can deploy a foldable flight system from its roof and take off vertically – a true “flying car.” Check it out below.

Credit: XPeng/AeroHT

In addition to the two-in-one model, XPeng has also introduced a rugged Cybertruck-esque EV with 6×6 all-wheel drive that houses a separate eVTOL aircraft in its rear. An extended range hybrid system can even recharge the aircraft while driving, giving owners the ability to cruise to elevation, park, and unload the EV’s “human-piloted air module.”

Complete with room for two and 270-degree spacial views, XPeng states this new eVTOL offers distributed, all-electric propulsion that meets all single-point safety requirements. You gotta check this one out.

That’s all from us, but there’s even more to unfold if you watch the entire keynote from China earlier today. The english translated broadcast should be live this tomorrow morning and available to view here.

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