XPeng is on a bit of a roll. After passing the 50,000 vehicle milestone with the P7, setting new sales records two months in a row, and leading the Chinese EV startup market, the Guangzhou-based company has announced that the XPeng P7 has the absolute highest safety rating of all electric vehicles sold in China. Its latest C-NCAP safety tests concluded with a score of 98.51% in the “active safety” category (though, I guess you gathered that from the headline).
Overall, the P7 got a 5-star safety rating and total score of 89.4%.
So, what goes into the active safety score? I’ll let XPeng explain: “C-NCAP testing for active safety includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems, AEB testing for car-to-car rear collisions (AEB CCR), and AEB testing for pedestrians (AEB VRU Ped). In all these areas, the P7’s high-performance systems contributed strongly, enabling the final 98.51% aggregate score, and reflecting the P7’s market-leading technology.”
XPeng P7 achieved the highest active safety score of 98.51% among #ElectricVehicles in China in July's C-NCAP tests, with strong performance in autonomous emergency braking (ABE) systems, AEB testing for car-to-car rear collisions, and AEB testing for pedestrians. #SmartMobility pic.twitter.com/NmgepTqvnl
— XPeng Motors (@XPengMotors) August 17, 2021
XPeng, like Tesla, is a firm that is continually collecting and learning from data, then using what it learns to roll out regular over-the-air software updates. It also uses top-of-the-line hardware for many of its active safety features. That combination ha sled to the P7 leading the market in this regard. That’s no small achievement, especially when you’re competing with Tesla and EVs from every large automaker in China.
Here are more details from XPeng about other scores the P7 received and an overview of the technical details it deployed to achieve the scores:
“The XPeng P7 also achieved a 92.61% occupant protection score in the C-NCAP safety test. Within this occupant protection score, the P7 achieved a 91.99% score on frontal 40% collision testing, and a 100% score on side impact tests. This reflects XPeng’s achievements in attaining a high standard of mechanical engineering in its vehicles, to match their cutting-edge autonomous driving systems.
“The P7 has gone through 2 years of optimization totaling 40,000 hours. In the most stringent offset collision conditions, invasion to the foot area is controlled within 5mm. For side collisions, the B-pillar uses double hot-formed steel plates with 67mm maximum intrusion, equivalent to only half of the intrusion of most models (120mm). The P7 electric drive system adopts a rear-end arrangement, and the entire front engine room is a huge crumple space, with an energy-absorbing space of 1223 mm, 2.4 times that of a fuel vehicle. In a frontal collision, the peak deceleration is reduced from 42g to 25g, a 41% reduction compared with that of a fuel vehicle. The entire collision elapsed time is extended from 63ms to 80ms, an increase of 26%, greatly reducing chest and head injuries for occupants.
“Ultra-high-strength steel comprises of 16% of the P7’s body structure with thermoformed steel accounting for 13%. A large number of parts are thermoformed to build a 360-degree protection thermoformed surrounding body. The use rate of thermoforming materials is twice that of most models, and the number of components used in thermoforming materials is 1.5 times that of luxury models.”
On a related note, just one week ago, the P7 was awarded the first i-VISTA 5-star smart car rating. The i-VISTA rating system explores “smart driving” features, “smart safety” (see above), “smart interaction” (i.e., good touchscreen and voice controls), and smart energy efficiency. Anyone who has followed XPeng somewhat closely knows that its driver-assist features have received rave reviews. The i-VISTA scorers agreed, giving an “Excellent” rating for the P7’s lane change assist, automatic emergency braking (AEB), and lane departure warning tech. The car also got “Excellent” ratings for its touchscreen and voice interaction.
Here are some more details from XPeng on the new i-VISTA system: “Operating under the guidance of the China Automotive Research Institute, the China Society of Automotive Engineering and the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the i-VISTA China Intelligent Vehicle Index draws on both domestic and foreign testing and evaluation methodology for smart and connected vehicles, integrating these with driving data, driver behavior and Chinese market characteristics, including traffic accident data and other research findings.”
Here are more bragging points from the company on the tech that got it the record-high rating: “The P7’s autonomous driving assistance system is equipped with 31 autonomous driving sensors powered by the Xavier System-on-Chip supercomputing platform, 5 high-precision millimeter wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 4 autonomous driving surround-view cameras, 10 autonomous driving high-sensitivity cameras and sub-systems, supporting its meter-level high-precision positioning system. Its comprehensive perception-fusion capability provides the P7 with omnidirectional perception for road conditions, traffic hazards, and other vehicles, pedestrians and objects, covering far, middle and close distance.
“The centerpiece of its interactive touchscreen system, the P7’s central control panel, is powered by an auto-grade 820A Qualcomm chip, delivering high performance, data security and stability with low energy consumption. The P7 is also the world’s first production vehicle with a full-scenario voice assistant.
“As of March 31, 2021, XPeng’s adaptive cruise control function has been utilized for a cumulative total of 61.4 million kilometers, with its lane centering control function utilized for 30.2 million kilometers. In March 2021, the average monthly utilization rate of adaptive cruise control and the lane centering control was 62% and 43%, respectively.”
Kudos to XPeng for the high scores. It seems that among all of the auto companies now trying to increase EV production and make those EVs smart and high tech, XPeng is in a top tier of a rather small number of auto companies that really understand software, advanced computer hardware, and rapid innovation.