Since the beginning of the new year, the new forces of car building have been particularly active, and they have begun to put forward “big moves” intensively.
First, Weilai released et7, which applies nad automatic driving scheme, on nioday2020. The scheme not only has a powerful aquaila ultra sensing system, but also is equipped with Adam ultra computing platform, which is said to be 7 times the computing power of Tesla FSD scheme, so that Weilai has won a full house at one time.
On January 26, Xiao Peng, who belongs to the “three brothers of American stock market”, announced the launch of the strongest OTA in history and officially opened the NGP automatic navigation assisted driving function. Before that, the cloud AVP developed by Weima and Baidu Apollo also entered the era of mass production with the launch of its third new intelligent pure electric SUV W6.
Behind these grand official announcements, all pointed to the automatic driving ability of new car manufacturers. Is it just a coincidence that new forces are flocking to the stage?
Bite tight, from imitation to breakthrough
Tesla has successfully ushered in the era of intelligent vehicles, which has become a benchmark in the industry. The new force of car manufacturing has been biting Tesla in the research and development of automatic driving, and has reached a new climax in the second half of 2020.
In September 2020, Weilai launched the NOP navigation assistance function to benchmark Tesla NOA automatic navigation driving. Based on the deep integration of navigation system, high-precision map and niopilot automatic driving assistance system, the system can make special optimization according to the characteristics of China’s road conditions and traffic conditions, such as automatically adjusting the speed and intelligently changing lanes according to the information of road speed limit and environmental perception And overtake the local train. As a result, Weilai has become the second automobile manufacturer in the world to realize the automatic driving assistance function according to the navigation path.
After that, Xiaopeng automobile disclosed the news that it will carry NGP high-speed automatic navigation driving on Xiaopeng P7 for the first time on “1024 Xiaopeng automobile intelligence day”, and launched NGP engineering experience version. Similar to Weilai NOP, Xiaopeng NGP is also equipped with high-precision maps, combined with radar and visual perception to realize automatic driving in specific scenes. On January 27, Xiaopeng NGP officially pushed users through Ota.
With the realization of the pilot assistance function, Weilai and Xiaopeng are more than one position ahead of other new forces, and they are also firmly in the first echelon of new forces in car building.
In fact, Weilai’s ambition in the field of automatic driving is not limited to this. Before speaking, on the NIODay2020, along with the release of ET7, Wei Lai further released a more powerful NAD automatic driving system on the basis of NOP, as well as the super sense system AQUILA and supercomputing platform ADAM, which marked the automatic driving technology ability of the whole stack from perception algorithm to map location and from the control strategy to the bottom level system.
Among them, aquaila is equipped with 33 high-performance sensing hardware, including 11 8 megapixel HD cameras and 1 ultra long distance high-precision lidar. Adam, the ultra computing platform of Weilai, is equipped with four NVIDIA driveorin chips, and the computing power is up to 1016tops.
Xiaopeng also called out the slogan of “full stack self research”, and called himself “only two” auto enterprises with full stack self research, indirectly shoutouto Tesla. From the current point of view, self-developed hardware is not very realistic in the short term, but Xiao Peng wants to take the lead in the aspects of vehicle perception, positioning, planning, control, cloud data collection, labeling and algorithm optimization, so as to maintain the security of the supply chain.
Although the new forces all want to get close to Tesla in the development path of automatic driving, neither NGP nor NOP blindly imitates it. On the contrary, they make a breakthrough and go their own way.
In terms of perception, we all know that musk always scoffs at high-precision maps, because Tesla is committed to building advanced neural networks to help automatic driving. However, due to the limited training of neural network under the current technical level, Weilai and Xiaopeng used high-precision maps in their respective navigation assisted driving, and adapted them according to China’s road conditions and driving habits.
In addition, in order to avoid the huge amount of data and network training problems caused by Tesla’s pure visual perception, Weilai and Xiaopeng have successively announced that they have reached cooperation with innovision and Dajiang, and will carry lidar on future models to enhance the perception ability of the vehicle end. It was also revealed that the ideal will also reserve a lidar interface in the next generation of vehicles.
Speaking of ideals, the company also has its own ideas in the field of automatic driving. At present, the company is developing its own operating system and plans to apply it in the second generation of vehicles.
Based on the ideal, it is not difficult to notice the move of giving up the mobile chip and the packaged visual algorithm and turning to the more open NVIDIA. With the help of NVIDIA Orin chip with a computing power of up to 200tops, the ideal official even calls out to realize the full functional coverage from auxiliary driving to automatic driving in the next generation of vehicles.
It is worth mentioning that embracing NVIDIA is also a key step for Tesla to adjust its development path of automatic driving. Weilai Adam supercomputer platform is also equipped with NVIDIA driveorin chip, and Xiaopeng P7 is currently equipped with NVIDIA Xavier driven computing unit.
Weima continued to implement the pragmatic line. At present, the main models of Weima adopt the living pilot scheme based on Bosch L2 scheme, which has been updated to version 3.0, and can realize enhanced driving assistance and unmanned driving in some scenes. Although the deep binding with Baidu sounds far less pleasant than those who advocate self research, Weima W6’s AVP, which is released first and will be mass produced this year, is also a major breakthrough in the L4 parking scene.
In the development path of automatic driving, the new forces of car building also have their own aspirations.
Different from Xiaopeng’s relatively conservative progressive development strategy, Weilai, ideal and Weima have adopted a leapfrog development path. Through the popularization of L2 + enhanced assisted driving, more users can contact and accept driverless driving. At the same time, the mature technology is released step by step in L4 level scenes to achieve quantitative change to qualitative change.
And no matter take the gradual or leap forward development strategy, take the whole stack self research or deep binding integrator route, as long as you can run smoothly, it is success. Because autopilot needs results, not methodology.
Auto driving dream of money players
The new force of car making has always made people feel like losing money and making money, and automatic driving is the only way for “money” players to enter.
According to the data of China Automobile Circulation Association, in 2020, there will be only about 40 new automobile manufacturing enterprises in China, and more than 60% of them have closed down. Under the “Matthew effect”, the resource aggregation effect of the new car making forces in the head has appeared, which can be directly seen from the financing data.
According to the report on investment and financing data of new energy vehicles in recent ten years, the total amount of financing of the top 10 new energy vehicle brands that disclosed the amount of financing has exceeded 230 billion yuan. Among them, Weilai disclosed 13 times of financing, and the total amount of financing reached 32.78 billion yuan. Weima, Xiaopeng and ideal also exceeded 20 billion yuan.
Of course, no one will be too much money. Magic 2020 also gives birth to the situation that new car making forces go to the United States to IPO and kill three countries.
As of December 31, 2020, Weilai’s share price has soared 1210% at the beginning of the year, with a total market value of US $76.596 billion, becoming the fourth largest auto company in the world. Ahead of it are new car tycoon Tesla, veteran Honda and Volkswagen.
In addition, under the wave of listing, ideal’s share price also surged 85%, with a total market value of US $33.819 billion; Xiaopeng’s share price has surged 133%, with a total market value of US $25.889 billion since its listing.
As for the new domestic car making forces, there are two big mountains in front of them, one is the “money” force just mentioned, the other is delivery. Weilai, Xiaopeng, idealist and Weima have both the heart and the strength. It is precisely because the landlords have surplus food, and their self hemopoietic function has begun to work to a certain extent. Data show that in 2020, Weilai, ideal and Xiaopeng will deliver 43728, 32624 and 27041 vehicles respectively.
In addition, as one of the “four little dragons” of the new forces of domestic car manufacturing, Weima automobile also handed over the report card of 22495 vehicles delivered annually. Although it is inferior to the three US stock brothers in sales volume, Weima’s financing of 10 billion yuan in 2020 is the largest in the industry. At the same time, it was reported earlier that Weima plans to carry out the IPO of science and technology innovation board in early 2021. Once listed successfully, it will also become the “first share of new car making forces” of the science and technology innovation board, and the “money” scene will not be bad.
With the “spare money”, it is our consistent choice to continue to build the underlying architecture, and at the same time to reserve the organization and talents.
Although Weilai has made several rounds of layoffs before, after the capital chain situation has been eased to a certain extent in 2020, Weilai has restarted the L4 autonomous driving self research. Ren Shaoqing, the assistant vice president (former R & D director of momenta), is responsible for reporting directly to Li Bin, the founder and CEO. At the same time, he is also responsible for the unmanned driving algorithm team. Among the new L4 automatic driving teams under construction, some are Ren Shaoqing’s old headquarters in momenta.
At the same time, Weilai has promoted a young executive, Zhang Jianyong, director of automatic driving, and set up a dual AVP of automatic driving team. It is reported that Zhang Jianyong, an early employee of Weilai, was responsible for the early development of automatic driving in SAIC from 2013 to 2014.
Ideal also announced in mid September 2020 that Wang Kai, the former global chief architect and autopilot director of Visteon, will join us as the company’s chief technology officer (CTO), who will be fully responsible for the R & D and mass production of intelligent vehicle related technologies, including electronic and electrical architecture, intelligent cockpit, autopilot, platform development and lios real-time operating system.
With the joining of Wang Kai, the ideal automatic driving team has expanded from 60 to 300. For the third battle, the ideal seems to be ready.
In 2020, it will be a huge watershed for the new force of car building and the field of automatic driving. The pattern of new forces is beginning to show, the path of automatic driving is increasingly clear, and everything seems to be developing in a good direction. Capital, mass production capacity and team are indispensable.
Editor in charge: Tzh