(Photo source: CnEVPost)
Tesla is one of the biggest proponents of pure vision solutions in autonomous driving technology, while its Chinese counterparts generally prefer LiDAR, such as the P5 sedan just officially launched by XPeng Motors.
Interestingly, however, XPeng chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng's comments on both technology routes after the P5's launch indirectly gave support to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
An interview with He published by tech media 36kr on Friday showed that when asked "Will LiDAR be the killer hardware in the smart car era?" He gave a negative answer.
"I don't think LiDAR is the killer hardware for smart cars. If I were to specify the two most important killer hardware for electric vehicles, I think it would be the two cores, one is called the (battery) cells and the other is the chip," He stated.
In a vision and millimeter-wave ultrasonic radar perception fusion solution, XPeng wants to use LiDAR as a very important part to increase safety, according to He.
"If you look at it from a perception perspective, it (LiDAR) is not as important as the camera, which must be the most important, just like a person is looking at the whole world with their eyes," He stated.
This view actually echoes what Musk has been insisting on.
In a video presentation earlier today at the 2021 World New Energy Vehicle Congress, Musk again said that Tesla believes that autonomous assisted driving can be achieved entirely through visual neural networks because people drive in the biological sense of visual neural networks, so computers must be able to as well.
Musk also said that Chinese car companies are the most competitive in the world, and some are doing very well in software. This makes a lot of people think of XPeng.
But XPeng's CEO didn't forget to highlight the benefits of LiDAR, saying that the human eye can make mistakes or have problems when looking at the world, such as when it's foggy, at night, when it's snowing, when it's raining heavily, and its accuracy can drop.
"So the core of LiDAR is to bring reliability, stability and accuracy," He said.