Could XPeng Become the Leader in ADAS Driving? Analyst Weighs In

Tesla might be the poster boy for all things EV but according to a road test it will need to do some work on its ADAS (Advanced driver-assistance systems) capabilities in order to match XPeng’s (XPEV) performance.

Recently, using a fleet of P7 sedans (a consumer model with no additional LiDAR sensors) running on its latest XPILOT 3.0 software, XPeng held an autonomous driving expedition.

The 8-day journey covering over 3,000 kilometers from Guangzhou to Beijing, was the first event of its kind in China and showcased the system’s Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP). The feature allows for assisted L3 autonomous driving on complex highway conditions and in stormy weather such as heavy rain. Overall, NGP was used for 2,930 kilometers of the journey. On average, the cars travelled 366km each day, encountering roughly 0.7 drive interventions per 100km.

Amongst the scores of industry experts and EV fans keeping an eye on shenanigans, Deutsche Bank’s Edison Yu tracked the journey’s progress.

“In our view, the most impressive aspect of the expedition was the high success rate of XPILOT’s highway autonomy maneuvers,” the analyst opined. “For lane changing & overtaking, the success rate was 94% with highway ramp entering/exiting achieving a similar rate of 93%. Tunnel pass through success rate came in slightly higher at 95% and we note that in China, drivers often encounter long tunnels especially in mountainous regions so maintaining functionality is quite crucial.”

At the same time, 42HOW, a leading Chinese automotive media platform big on EV/ADAS content, carried out a head-to-head experiment comparing an XPeng P7 using NGP and a Tesla Model 3 using NoA (Navigate on Autopilot).

The results of the 4-day 2000+km drive (on a different route than XPeng’s drive) showed the P7 performed noticeably better “both in terms of lower driver intervention and general software stability.” For instance, driver interventions per 100km were around 1.0 while the Tesla’s came in at 1.3.

Additionally, the Tesla needed to switch down to “lower-level feature (e.g., adaptive cruise control)” twice as much as the XPeng. Yu believes this is probably down to the lack of HD mapping so the Tesla could not deal with tunnels and “lower performance during heavy rain.” Yu also notes that despite feature downgrades, Tesla’s software still managed to “handle large majority of situations without an actual driver intervention even when the NoA was not available.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that Yu rates XPEV shares a Buy. Investors could be pocketing a gain of 30%, should his $30 price target be met in the twelve months ahead. (To watch Yu’s track record, click here)

Most analysts concur. The stock has a Strong Buy consensus rating, based on 6 Buys vs. just one Hold. The projection is for gains of ~34%, given the average price target currently stands at $49.50. (See XPeng stock analysis on TipRanks)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.