During CES 2024, NVIDIA announced that four Chinese electric vehicle brands will adopt its autonomous driving chip platform. According to a report from IJIWEI, this move has showed NVIDIA’s potential intention to expand in China, despite facing stricter export controls from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The four automakers include Li Auto, Great Wall Motor (GWM), ZEEKR, and Xiaomi, all set to utilize NVIDIA’s DRIVE technology solution to support autonomous driving capabilities.
The NVIDIA DRIVE platform encompasses automotive sensors, computing platforms, hardware and software for autonomous driving development, as well as DGX servers for artificial intelligence (AI) training.
NVIDIA has stated in the release that Li Auto selected the NVIDIA DRIVE Thor in-vehicle computer, featuring two DRIVE Orin processors with a computing power of 508 trillion operations per second (TOPS). This setup enables real-time fusion of information from various sensors, driving advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and a comprehensive autonomous driving system for all scenarios.
Furthermore, GWM, ZEEKR, and Xiaomi have adopted the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin platform to power their intelligent autonomous driving systems.
GWM mentioned that its autonomously developed high-end intelligent driving system, Coffee Pilot, based on the DRIVE Orin platform, supports intelligent navigation and assisted driving functions across all scenarios without the need for high-precision maps.
Xiaomi’s first car, SU7, will be built on a dual DRIVE Orin configuration, with the assisted driving system incorporating Xiaomi’s in-house large-language perception and decision-making model, adaptable to various roads nationwide.
Recently, the information cited by Sina Technology indicates that during a recent internal event at Xiaomi, executives from Xiaomi’s automotive division disclosed that the team currently comprises 3700 members. Reportedly, their ambitious goal is to create a Dream Car that can compete with renowned brands like Porsche and Tesla.
According to sources, Xiaomi’s Automotive Vice President and Political Commissar of the Beijing headquarters, Yu Liguo, shared in a recent internal event at Xiaomi, saying, “Mr. Lei (Lei Jun, Xiaomi CEO) often tells us that only those who understand and love cars can make good cars. I believe that among the 3,000-plus people in the automotive department, we have indeed found a group of people who truly understand and love cars.”
Yu further stated that the Xiaomi Automotive Division, established nearly three years ago, currently consists of 3,700 individuals from diverse backgrounds, all sharing a common dream – to create a Dream Car that can rival Porsche and Tesla.
Reportedly, Yu also mentioned that in certain scenarios while driving, Xiaomi’s autonomous driving tests have achieved success, surpassing the current capabilities of Tesla. Although these conditions may not be typical for autonomous driving, they reflect the capabilities of autonomous driving.
On the other hand, Lei Jun further emphasized the importance of corporate culture in the internal event. He stated that Xiaomi has clarified its goals for the new decade this year – to become the leader in the new generation of global hardcore technology. If Xiaomi is to succeed in the next decade, it must have a team capable of fighting tough battles.
He gave an example that in recent years, Xiaomi has rapidly assembled large teams, whether in the chip department or the automotive department, reaching scales of two to three thousand people in a very short time.
To quickly unite everyone as one force, is not only on strategy and motivation but also on corporate culture, which may not be visible in ordinary times, and it is only when facing difficulties, dangers, or situations that require responsibility that it can fully manifest itself.
Previously, Lei Jun announced that Xiaomi would hold a technology launch event for its car on December 28. Lei Jun revealed that the development of Xiaomi’s first car involved a total of 3,400 engineers, with the entire R&D investment exceeding CNY 10 billion. It is noteworthy that he emphasized this event would focus on technology and not product launches.
Looking at his recent teasers on Weibo, the autonomous driving technology mentioned by Yu Liguo is expected to be featured in the technology release. Additionally, there is anticipation for the debut of Xiaomi’s self-developed operating system, HyperOS, in the automotive context.
Recently, as Indian media cited anonymous sources, that the Indian law enforcement agency arrested three executives of Vivo India Company on charges of alleged involvement in a money laundering case.
As per The Times of India, the individuals arrested by the Indian law enforcement agency in this case are Hong Xuquan, the interim CEO of vivo India, along with Harinder Dahiya, the CFO of Vivo India, and the company consultant Hemant Munjal.
The three have been taken into custody under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Reportedly, an ED spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for a comment. Furthermore, the Vivo employees is said to be appear in court on December 26.
Vivo spokesperson has responded accordingly that, “We are deeply alarmed by the current action of the authorities. The recent arrests demonstrate continued harassment and as such induce an environment of uncertainty amongst the wider industry landscape. We are resolute in using all legal avenues to address and challenge these accusations.”
According to The Times of India, in October of this year, the Indian law enforcement agency arrested four individuals, including Vivo’s chartered accountant Nitin Garg.
The report further states that from 2014 to the present, Vivo India has been allegedly probing suspicious transactions, which were remitted by the company to China from Rs 1.25 lakh crore of receipts from its Indian operations since 2014
“Various Chinese nationals have been traveling across India, including sensitive places of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, in gross violation of Indian visa conditions.” the agency added.
Previously, as per Hindustan Times, the Indian government banned numerous Chinese apps, accusing them of being “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state and public order.” Since June 2020, more than 200 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as TikTok, WeChat, and UC Browser, have been banned.
The government has also stated in its parliament indicating that, Chinese smartphone makers, including Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, and Vivo, have been found evading taxes to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore in India.
Lei Jun told reporters that he believes Xiaomi has many natural advantages in entering the automotive industry. He emphasized that the essence of smart electric vehicles today lies in the integration of the automotive and consumer electronics industries, constituting a significant convergence. Therefore, entering the automotive sector poses challenges for Xiaomi, but overall, the difficulty is manageable.
Lei Jun mentioned that three years ago, he thought making cars was a challenging endeavor. After conducting user research, they established the principle of adhering to conventions while introducing surprises: fully respecting the norms of the automotive industry, using mature industry technologies to ensure the quality of the first car, and innovating within this overarching framework.
Lei Jun stated, “For our first car, we’ve invested more than 3,400 engineers, and the entire research and development expenditure has exceeded RMB 10 billion. We’ve used more than ten times the investment. With this level of confidence, I approached it with a ‘must-win’ attitude.”
When discussing expectations for the first car, Lei Jun mentioned that there is definitely an expectation, but he acknowledges the complexity of the automotive industry. He expressed concerns, particularly fearing that the car might not gain immediate popularity, and people may not buy it initially.
However, he is even more worried that if everyone rushes to buy, there might be a wait of one or two years, which would undoubtedly lead to severe criticism.
Earlier on December 12, information about Xiaomi’s car model SU7 battery appeared in the latest catalog of new energy vehicle models exempt from vehicle purchase tax released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The information shows that Xiaomi’s car model SU7 has two battery versions with capacities of 101kWh and 73.6kWh, respectively. Depending on the specific model, the corresponding CLTC (China Light-Duty Vehicle Test Cycle) range for the 101kWh version is 800km and 750km, while for the 73.6kWh version, it is 668km and 628km.
This year, BYD, a notable figure in the global automotive market, has recently faced a downturn. The extensive price reductions initiated on November 24th have raised concerns, as it is perceived to contradict the company’s earlier commitment to avoid participating in price wars. BYD is now under pressure to intensify its efforts to reach its annual sales target of 3 million vehicles.
According to multiple reports from Chinese media on November 25th, in an attempt to overcome this challenging situation, BYD has been taking frequent actions. Following a wave of promotional activities in early November, on 24th, dealers reportedly implemented large-scale price reductions, expanding cash discounts to various models such as Qin, Han, Tang, and Song, ranging from CNY 3,000 to 10,000.
The discounts on models like Qin PLUS DM-i and Qin PLUS EV are particularly significant, reaching up to CNY 10,000, with the starting price of Qin PLUS DM-i dropping to CNY 89,800.
BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu emphasized at the end of August that he was confident in achieving the annual sales target of 3 million vehicles and would not engage in intense price wars within the industry.
The recent measures of BYD, involving two price reductions within a month, have sparked discussions. BYD stated on November 25th that this promotion is limited to the month and is not an official price reduction activity. Its purpose is to accelerate the transition from gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles.
The market is closely watching whether BYD can achieve its annual target. BYD’s official Weibo account stated on November 24th that it took just over three months to go from 5 million to 6 million units of EVs, marking another milestone. Moreover, in October, the sales of new energy vehicles exceeded 300,000 vehicles for the first time, setting a new monthly record.
However, while BYD’s monthly sales continue to grow, the year-to-date sales growth has significantly declined. In the next two months, BYD’s sales still need to climb above the 300,000 mark to achieve the 3 million annual target. Industry insiders suggest that BYD’s recent price reductions may boost its sales target but are also expected to intensify market price competition.
In addition, BYD faces threats from local competitors. Recently, various forces in the Chinese auto market have made significant deployments. The Huawei Luxeed S7 is set to be launched on November 28, and Huawei showcased a video on the 24th demonstrating the autonomous parking function of the Luxeed S7, highlighting its powerful technological capabilities.
Furthermore, Xiaomi’s progress in the car manufacturing sector continues to advance, with its new car expected to debut in the first quarter of 2024. The competition in the Chinese new energy vehicle market is, without a doubt, increasing.