China’s BYD launches AI-powered smart car technology to better compete with rivals

BYD Seal U electric car at the IAA Mobility 2023 international motor show on September 6, 2023 in Munich, Germany.

Leonhard Simon | Getty Images News | Getty Images

BYD launched its AI-powered smart car system on Tuesday as the world’s largest electric car maker seeks to better compete with rivals on advanced technologies such as automated parking.

The Xuanji smart car system “perceives changes inside and outside the vehicle in milliseconds” thereby “enhancing driving safety and comfort,” the firm said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Integrated in the architecture is the AI Large Model, possessing the largest data foundation of the industry, empowering the Integrated Vehicle Intelligence system with the capacity for continuous adaptation,” the firm said in an X post on Wednesday.

The system will speed up the transformation of the auto industry, Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president of BYD, said at the company’s Dream Day event on Tuesday.

BYD, which surpassed Tesla as the world’s top-selling EV brand in the fourth quarter, selling more battery-powered vehicles than its U.S. rival, said it plans to invest 5 billion Chinese yuan ($701.8 million) to build the world’s first all-terrain professional test drive sites in cities across China.

BYD obtained a conditional testing license for L3 autonomous driving on high-speed roads in Shenzhen in July last year, making it the first car company to receive such a license in China, according to the firm’s Weibo post.

L3 autonomous driving refers to conditionally automated driving where a human must be ready to take over within seconds. 

The Chinese EV giant’s Shenzhen-listed shares shed more than 2% on Wednesday in a broader decline in the China stock market.

A price war and intensifying competition in the Chinese EV market have squeezed profitability for China’s EV makers including BYD, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto.

Xpeng, Nio, Huawei and Zeekr recently revealed new EV models as they strive to gain an edge in the increasingly competitive China EV market that has seen Chinese consumer electronics company Xiaomi also unveil an EV car model.

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