Heatherwick Studio's concept electric car was presented at the Shanghai Motor Show 2021 in April. The Airo was designed by the London design studio for IM Motors and is a fully electric vehicle with autonomous and driver-controlled modes. The Airo will run on electric power, producing no fossil fuel pollutants as it moves around the city. But the car goes further in its environmental ambition as it also comes complete with a state-of-the-art HEPA filtering system that actively cleans the air from the pollution of other vehicles as it passes through the under-carriage, leaving the air around it cleaner. In addition to its embedded air-filtering system, Airo's customizable interior can be configured into multiple functional spaces that turn the car into a moving room or a space for your life.
William Li is being mobbed. At a gala dinner in Shanghai, the founder of Chinese electric carmaker Nio Inc. can barely move forward in the buffet queue before being stopped for another selfie, handshake or hug. Swapping his usual attire of jeans and a T-shirt for a tailored grey suit and blue dress shirt, the tall 46-year-old happily obliges with a smile. Li manages to spoon a small amount of fried rice and vegetables onto his plate, but he's not here for the food. Over the next three hours, Li poses for hundreds more photos, chatting with customers of the automaker he started just over six years ago and has built into a way of life -- at least for the people who buy his cars -- with clubhouses, a round-the-clock battery recharging service and even clothing, food and exercise equipment, all decked out in Nio's geometric logo. As Li works the room, a video backdrop shows six performers, each wearing a different-colored Nio hoodie, singing a self-composed song dedicated to the company.
China is shaping up to be the first real test of Big Tech's ambitions in the world of carmaking, with giants from Huawei Technologies Co. to Baidu Inc. plowing almost $19 billion into electric and self-driving vehicle ventures widely seen as the future of transport. While Apple Inc. has long had plans for its own car and Alphabet Inc. has Waymo, its autonomous driving unit, the size -- and speed -- of the move by China's tech titans puts them at the vanguard of that broader push. The lure is an industry that's becoming increasingly high tech as it pivots away from the combustion engine, with sensors and operating systems making cars more like computers, and the prospect of autonomy re-envisioning how people use will them. As the world's biggest market for new-energy cars, China is a key battlefield. Established automakers like Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. are already slogging it out with local upstarts such as market darling Nio Inc. and Xpeng Inc.
Chinese technology giant Baidu Inc (9888.HK) expects to supply its Apollo autonomous driving system to 1 million cars in the next three to five years, a senior company executive said on Monday. Li Zhenyu, senior corporate vice president at Baidu, made the remarks at the 2021 Shanghai motor show. Baidu established its autonomous driving unit Apollo in 2017. The unit mainly supplies technology powered by artificial intelligence and works with automakers such as Geely (GEELY.UL), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and GAC (601238.SS). In January, Baidu said it would set up a company with Geely to make smart electric vehicles (EV), which will count on Baidu's intelligent driving capabilities and Geely's car manufacturing expertise.
Tesla's electric car rivals in China are continuing to grow as smartphone maker Xiaomi announced Tuesday that it is jumping into the EV arena. The company said in a regulatory filing that it will invest $10 billion into its electric car business over the next 10 years as it sets up a wholly-owned subsidiary. Its initial investment into the car unit will equal 10 billion yuan, or about $1.52 billion, according to the filing. Xiaomi may invest up to 100 billion yuan into the electric vehicle business over the course of the next three years, taking external financing into account, with 60% contributed by the company and the remaining balance in raised funds, sources told Bloomberg before the company's announcement. At the helm of the smart electric vehicle business will be Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun.
Six months after the Trump administration dealt a crushing blow to Huawei Technologies Co.'s smartphone business, the Chinese telecommunications giant is turning to less glamorous alternatives that may eventually offset the decline of its biggest revenue contributor. Among its newest customers is a fish farm in eastern China that's twice the size of New York's Central Park. The farm is covered with tens of thousands of solar panels outfitted with Huawei's inverters to shield its fish from excessive sunlight while generating power. About 370 miles to the west in coal-rich Shanxi province, wireless sensors and cameras deep beneath the earth monitor oxygen levels and potential machine malfunctions in mine pit -- all supplied by the tech titan. And next month, a shiny new electric car featuring its lidar sensor will debut at China's largest auto show.
GUANGZHOU, China,--(BUSINESS WIRE)--XPeng Inc. ("XPeng" or the "Company", NYSE: XPEV), a leading Chinese smart electric vehicle ("Smart EV") company, today announced the launch of a long-distance navigation-assisted autonomous driving expedition from March 19 to 26, 2021, covering a total distance of 3,675 km across six provinces in China. The performance of XPeng's newly released autonomous driving assistance function - Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP) - will be fully tested in 3,145 km of highway driving, starting from Guangzhou, all the way north to Beijing. The Xpeng P7 Premium version, equipped with XPILOT 3.0 which supports the NGP function, will be driven by members of the media and third parties during the 7-day drive expedition, the longest driving challenge to date for an autonomous driving assistance function in mass-produced models in China. The total distance of 3,675 km consists of about 3,145 km of highways, where the key functionalities and reliability of the NGP, including automatic highway ramp entering and exiting, automatic switching of highways and optimization of lane choices, automatic lane changing, overtaking and speed limit adjustment, will be fully tested by the press and third parties. The frequency of human driver intervention, and the success rate for the functions listed above, are among the key indicators to be tested in these sophisticated driving scenarios on China's highways. Over the course of 7 days, the fleet of P7s will drive across 10 cities in China in six provinces, starting from Guangzhou, to Shantou, Quanzhou, Wenzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Qingdao, Jinan, finishing in Beijing.
NIO, the Chinese electric car company with tens of billions of dollars in cash on hand, has accelerated its expansion and begun to invest more in its automated driving software. Jamie Carlson, the North American-based vice president in charge of NIO's automated driving business, left the company in June, and Ren Shaoqing, formerly Momenta's director of research and development, has joined NIO, hinting that NIO will increase its investment in automated driving technology, according to 36Kr. Ren Shaoqing serves as assistant vice president and reports directly to NIO CEO Li Bin, the report said, adding that a NIO executive confirmed the information. Jamie Carlson, who left Apple in October 2016 to join NIO's North American R&D center, has returned to Apple's Special Projects Group, where the company's Titan car project is based. According to the report, the departure of Jamie Carlson and the addition of Ren Shaoqing is in line with NIO's return to China to focus its self-driving strategy.
U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc is "very close" to Level-5 autonomous driving technology, its chief executive, Elon Musk, said on Thursday. Musk added that he was confident Tesla would attain basic functionality of the technology this year, in remarks made via a video message at the opening of Shanghai's annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC).
Some of China's wealthiest tycoons steered billions of dollars into electric-car companies in order to fuel the country's dreams of becoming a leader in the field. Now a reckoning may be looming as car sales slow and the government reduces subsidies for the nascent industry. That leaves the flagship companies of Jack Ma, Pony Ma, Hui Ka Yan and Robin Li facing an increasingly steep path to profitability on their bets that electric vehicles can be smartphones-on-wheels connecting passengers to other businesses. Their capital, along with dozens of startups raising $18 billion, helped inflate an electric bubble that now looks to be in danger of popping. China's car market is experiencing a prolonged sales slump, prompting EV-makers to slash earnings outlooks.