The Advanced Driving Assist System (ADAS) Pissing Contest In China Is Huge And Complicated So Here Is Your Comprehensive Guide And Ranking

China Adas Top

Semi-autonomous driving is hot in China. Drivers are not afraid of handing control to the car’s brand, and certainly so in traffic jams or during the daily commute. Many Chinese car makers are offering ever more sophisticated Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). They usually use the term Intelligent Driver Assistance Systems (IDAS or i-DAS), with the purpose of emphasizing purportedly AI-based solutions. The most advanced of these systems offer semi-autonomous driving to about L3. The systems combine lidar with radar with cameras with fast computer chips.

Chinese car makers are in a real ADAS/IDAS pissing contest, claiming ever larger sensor suites and ever more computing power. Who got the most sensors, and who got the biggest chip? To answer this question we take a look at some of China’s newest and most advanced cars. We only look at cars that are in production right now and that folks can order. Concepts and pre-production cars are excluded. China’s fully autonomous taxi-projects will be discussed in a separate article.

Hardware and software: With the development of semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles, new hard- and software pops up every day. Some basics: a vehicle’s ADAS functions are usually controlled by an integrated ADAS domain controller, a domain controller is powered by a centralized electronic control unit (ADAS ECU), which in turn is powered by multiple chips, centered around a main chip. It’s the latter that the chip-pissing contest is mainly about, although some Chinese automakers also release details on their secondary chips. For bragging purposes, they use ‘trillion operations per second’ (TOPS) is a common standard to measure the speed of chips.

To lidar or not to lidar.

Opinions on lidar are divided. Lidar is a detection system which works on the principle of radar, but uses light from a laser instead of radio waves. It’s most notable opponent is Tesla’s Elon Musk, who saidLidar is a fool’s errand… and anyone relying on lidar is doomed.” Chinese car makers on the other hand are fully behind lidar, fitting their latest vehicles with one, two, or even three lidar units. Tesla, however, might be changing its mind. I guess they have no choice. If they want to stay competitive, especially in China, they just gotta go for it.

Without further  ado; the cars:

Aion LX Plus

Aion 2
Aion LX Plus, showing off its lidars.

Aion is an EV brand under GAC, a Guangzhou-based company better known for their Trumpchi brand. Aion was founded as a sub-brand in 2018 and became a stand-alone brand in 2020. They currently sell five cars, including the ultra cool and somewhat weird Aion Y. Their most advanced offering is the Aion LX Plus crossover SUV, a high tech machine with a race car-inspired front spoiler. The top-spec version has a twin-motor four-wheel drive setup, with a total output of 490 hp and 700 Nm. Top speed is 180 km/h and 0-100 is gone in 3.9 seconds. The motors are coupled to a CATL 93.3 kWh battery for an NEDC range of 600 kilometers (Aion also offers a one-motor 144 kWh version with a 1008 km range). Price for all this pretty is 419,600 yuan or 62,010 USD.

Aion 3
Aion LX Plus lidar.

Oh so wow, but is there any info about ADAS? Yes indeed there is. Aion’s ADAS is called ADiGO 4.0. The AION LX has 35 sensors: 3 lidars with a max range of 250 meters, 6 millimeter-wave radars, four surround-view cameras, eight high-definition cameras, 12 ultrasonic radars, and two high-precision positioning modules. The lidars are located above the windshield and above, or inside really, the wheel arches. With that, it has 26 ADAS functionalities including forward- rear-, and side collision warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, urban road intelligent driving assistance system, automatic- and remote control parking, and much more. Main computing power comes from a Huawei MDC 610 chips with 200 TOPS, augmented by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip.

Aion 4
Aion LX Plus, lidar and camera in wheel arch.

ArcFox α-S HI

Arcfox 1
ArcFox α-S HI.

Arcfox is an EV brand under the BAIC Group. They make two cars: the α-S (Alpha) sedan and the α-T SUV. These vehicles are manufactured by a joint venture between BAIC and Austria’s Magna Steyr. The Arcfox α-S HI is a high-end high tech version of the regular α-S, developed in partnership with Huawei. HI stands for ‘Huawei Inside’, meaning that the world’s most popular telecom company provides the main operating system, the driver-assistance systems, and the chips. Huawei has expanded pretty far into automotive in recent years, building vehicle operating systems, self-driving software, all sorts of other software, apps, lidars, other radar systems, and even electric motors.

The α-S HI costs 429.900 yuan (63,700 USD). For that cash, you get a twin-motor four-wheel drive setup, with an output of 643 hp and 655 Nm. Top speed is limited to 200 km/h and 0-100 is gone in 3.5 seconds. The 75 kWh battery pack makes for a 500 kilometer NEDC range. With its 750v fast-charging system, range can be increased by “197 kilometers in 10 minutes”. Yes, that’s 197, not 200. Chinese car makers are very precise with this sort of thing.

Arcfox 2
Note the DMS camera on the A pillar and the HI logo on the steering wheel.

Nice, but is the ADAS any good? Oh yes it is. The Arcfox α-S HI has 35 sensors, including: 3 solid-state lidars, 6 millimeter-wave radars, 13 high-definition cameras, 12 ultrasonic radars, and one driver-monitoring system (DMS). A DMS is a camera pointed at the driver’s face, providing alerts if the driver is distracted or dozes off. In China, these cameras are generally seen as a part of the ADAS. The lidars are located in the bumper: one in the middle and two on the far sides. The data is processed by a Huawei MDC 810 chip with a total computing power of 400 TOPS. With all that, it has 26 ADAS functions, including: front and rear collision avoidance system (CAS), front and rear automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW), lane keeping assist system (LKAS), traffic light recognition, intelligent cruise control for high- and low-speed environments, automatic park assist, remote parking, automated valet parking, and much more.

Arcfox 3
Arcfox α-S HI bumper-based lidar and sensors.

Avatr 11

Avatr 1
Avatr 11.

Avatr is a new EV brand jointly owned by Changan Auto and battery maker CATL, with Huawei as a development partner. Their first car is the new Avatr 11, a superbly cool SUV-sedan-crossover machine with weapon-like headlights and massive wheels. It uses the same HI Huawei Inside package as the Arcfox α-S. The 11 has a twin-motor four-wheel drive setup. The motors are coming from Huawei, and are good for a combined output of 570 hp. Zero to a hundred takes 3 seconds and it tops out at a limited 200 km/h. The 90 kWh NMC battery is supplied by co-owner CATL and packs enough juice for a 600 kilometer range. It uses a 750V high-voltage charging system, with a charging power of up to 240kW. It only takes 15 minutes to charge the battery from 30% to 80%, according to claims by the manufacturer. The Avatr 11 furthermore features dome-like structures [Editor’s Note: I think that’s more of an hourglass/wormhole through spacetime shape. – JT] inside and it can show emoticons to the outside.

Avatr 2
Avatr 11. ADAS system.

All very useful. And does it have ADAS? It sure does. The name of the ADAS system is interesting, and perhaps a bit sensitive in certain countries: AVATRANS. This stands for: AVATR Autopilot Navigation System, which is made by Huawei. The Avatr 11 has 34 sensors, including: 3 lidars, 6 millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic radars and 13 cameras. The lidars are located in the bumper and in the front fenders. The data is crunched by a Huawei MDC 810 400 TOPS chip.

Avatr 3
Avatr is very transparent about AVATRANS.

HiPhi Z

Hiphi 2
HiPhi Z. Yes, this is a real car.

HiPhi is probably the coolest Chinese brand right now, launched in 2019 and owned by a company called New Horizons, which is a great name. Their first car was the 2021 HiPhi X, a 6-seat CUV with extremely complicated two-part rear doors that make the Falcon doors of the Tesla Model X look like a simple idea. Their newest offering is the mad HiPhi Z, a machine that looks more like a spaceship than a car, featuring 22-inch “Flexible Battle Armor Wheels” and suicide rear doors.

Pre-sale price for the top model is 808.000 yuan (119,400 USD), making it one of the most expensive Chinese-brand cars on the market today. The top twin-motor four-wheel drive version has 600 hp and 820 Nm for 0-100 in 3.8 seconds. The 120 kWh battery gets the Z a long 705 kilometers into the NEDC universe. It also has rear-wheel steering, doors that can display messages, and a touch screen that turns itself to the person who speaks, or moves to the rhythm of music.

Hiphi Z 2

So far so great. But what about ADAS? Well, what about it: The Z’s ADAS is called HiPhi Pilot, it features intelligent cruise control, forward- and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane change assist, and automatic parking assist. The HiPhi Z has 32 sensors including 1 lidar, 8 sensor cameras, 4 surround-view cameras, 1 DMS camera, 5-millimeter wave radars, 12 ultrasonic radars, and a hands-off detection (HOD) sensor on the steering wheel. The lidar is located in the middle above the windscreen, with a maximum forward range of 250 meters. The ADAS is powered by a 254 TOPS NVIDIA Orin-X chip.

Hiphi Z 4
HiPhi Z, B-pillar camera and keyless entry sensor.

IM L7

Im 3
IM L7.

IM is a new high-end electric car brand jointly owned by SAIC, Alibaba Group, and the local-government owned Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park. Their first car is the super smooth IM L7 sedan, launched earlier this year, and a SUV is on the way as well. The dual-motor four-wheel drive IM L7 has 578 hp and 725 Nm, good for 200 km/h and 3.87 seconds to one hundred. The motor is mated to a 94 kWh battery, developed by SAIC and CATL, with a 615 CLTC range. It also has four-wheel steering and a 3-camera permanent recording system that records the car’s surroundings in  4K Ultra HD.

Im 4
IM L7. Sensor pod above the windshield.

Pretty car, aerodynamic and all. And ADAS? And then some. IM’s ADAS is called IM AD. The IM L7 has 35 sensors: 1 lidar, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 15 high-definition cameras, 5 millimeter-wave radars, and 2 high precision positioning units, described by the company as “military-grade ultra-high-precision inertial positioning”. The ADAS is powered by a Nvidia’s 254 TOPS Orin-X chip. IM provides a full list of ADAS functions, it has 23 of ‘m, including full-speed adaptive cruise control, automatic lane change, forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and remote control parking. An interesting feature is called ‘WLC high-precision automatic parking and wireless charging’, a system that makes sure the vehicle is parked perfectly above a wireless charging pad. This technology isn’t available in the real world yet, but IM is developing it, so they decided to make sure their cars are able to use it when it arrives.

Im 1
NVIDIA Orin-X on a picture released by IM.

The main chip is once again the NVIDIA Orin-X, with 254 TOPS. Chinese car makers are really showing off with these chips, it is part of the pissing contest. So on their websites and press releases they always have imagery showing the chips, either alone or fitted on a control unit. The image provided by IM shows the NVIDIA chip as the shining center, surrounded by a blurred world of lesser secondary chips.

Leap C01

Leap C01
Leap C01.

Leapmotor (they spell it as one word) is a Chinese EV maker founded in 2015. Their first car was the cool Leap S01 sports coupe, launched in 2019. More on the LEap S01 in an upcoming article about China’s electric sports cars. Leap Motor’s  newest and most advanced vehicle is the Leap C01 sedan. The top twin-motor four-wheel drive model has 544 hp and 720 Nm, good for 0-100 in 3.66 seconds. It packs a 90 kWh battery pack for a CLTC range of 630 kilometers, using cell-to-chassis (CTC) technology, the first automaker in the world to do so. Pricing of the C01 starts at 270.000 yuan (close to $40,000 US).

Leap C01 2
Leap C01 ADAS.

But… What about ADAS? The ADAS is called Leapmotor Pilot, rated at “near-L3 level” L2. [Editor’s Note: These “near L3” descriptions are ridiculous and confusing, since L3 is already itself a nightmare to make sense of – JT] It has 28 sensors, with 1 lidar, 11 cameras, 12 ultrasonic radars, and five millimeter wave radars. There are 23 ADAS functions, including adaptive cruise control, automatic parking, automatic lane change assist with overtaking, 360° surround view, and front- and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking (AEB), remote control parking, and much more.

Leap C01 3
Leapmotor Lingxin 01.

Leapmotor is one of the few Chinese automakers that develops and builds its own ADAS chips. A lot of other Chinese car makers are planning for this, setting up huge R&D centers and all, but Leapmotor actually builds them. But it isn’t very powerful. The “Lingxin 01” is a 28nm chip with a maximum computing power of only 8.4 TOPS, which compares very poorly to all the other cars in this story, to say the least. Chinese media are regularly mocking Leapmotor for these low-performance chips. The company is apparently unable to develop anything better, and announced in May that from 2024 onward, Leapmotor will use the 254 TOPS NVIDIA’s Orin-X chip in their cars. That’s a huge step, let’s hope the computer won’t explode. Anyway, there is some other American tech on board already, as the Leap C01 is fitted with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 secondary-chip.

Li L9

Li Auto 1
Li L9.

Li Auto, aka Lixiang,  is a bit of an outlier in today’s list, as the company makes EREVs [Editor’s Note: This means Extended Range Electric Vehicle, which means that it has an ICE motor acting as a generator on board – JT] instead of pure battery EVs. The Beijing-based company was founded in 2015 and their first car, the Li One, launched in 2019. The new six-seat Li L9 SUV is their second car, positioned above the Li One. The complex four-wheel drive power train combines a 1.5 liter range-extender gasoline engine with two electric motors and a 44.5 kWh battery pack. Output is 448 hp and 620 Nm, good for a 180 km/h top speed and 0-100 in 5.3 seconds. CLTC range is an impressive 1315 kilometers, with a pure-electric range of 215 km. It also has a screen on the steering wheel, a HUD, and a massive 15.7 inch touch screen.

Li Auto 2
Li L9 ADAS.

But… does it have ADAS? It sure does. The L9 has 25 sensors, including: 1 lidar, six 8-million-pixel cameras, five 2-million-pixel cameras, 1 forward-millimeter wave radar, and 12 ultrasonic sensors. The data is processed by a duo of NVIDIA Orin-X processors with a combined computing power of 508TOPS.

Li Auto 3
Li Auto Snapdragon chips.

But that’s not all the American hardware in this Chinese SUV. The L9 Li also has two Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 secondary chips on board, with a combined power of  20 TOPS. Li Auto is so proud of these Snapdragons that they are prominently displayed on their website. The Chinese name for Snapdragon is Xiaolong (骁龙), best translated as ‘Valiant Dragon’.

Li Auto 34
Li L9 sensors.

Sensors everywhere!

Lotus Eletre

Lotus 1
Lotus Eletre.

Lotus is a formerly British sports car brand currently owned by the Geely Group (51%) and Malaysia’s Etika Automotive (49%). However, the new electric Lotus cars, including the Eletre, are made by another company, called Lotus Technologies. This outfit is also jointly owned by Geely and Etika, but with a 70-30% ownership. In February, Geely announced plans to list Lotus Technologies on the stock market. The Lotus Eletre is a super car SUV with a twin-motor four-wheel drive setup. The top-spec version gets 905 hp and 985 Nm, good for a 265 km/h top speed and a 2.95 seconds 0-100. The motors are mated to a 100 kWh battery which brings the Eletre  517 WLTP kilometers from home.  It also has four-wheel steering and The Eletre is manufactured in Wuhan, China. The pre-order book opened in June with deliveries set to start in Q1 2022. Price for the top 905 hp version will hover around the 1 million yuan mark; the most expensive car on this list.

Lotus 2

Jolly jolly those Chinese-Brit cars! Does it have any ADAS? Yes sir, it sure does. The Lotus Eletre has 34 sensors, including: four lidars, 12 ultrasonic radars, two 4D imaging millimeter-wave radars, four millimeter-wave radars, seven 8-million-pixel cameras, and one driver-monitoring system (DMS). Lotus hasn’t released a full list of ADAS capabilities yet, but they have said the Eletre will get fully automatic parking and a “high level” of semi-autonomous driving on urban roads.

Lotus 3
Lotus Eletre. Rear lidar.

The lidars are located above the windshield, above the rear-window, and above the front wheels. The Eletre is the only car in our list with a rearward-facing lidar. Interestingly, all the lidars are retractable, which reduces drag when the car is used on a track, or at high-speed on the German autobahn. For computing, the Eletre relies on two NVIDIA Orin-X chips with a combined power of 508 TOPS.

Neta S

Neta S 1
Neta S.

Neta is a new Chinese EV brand under Hozon Auto, founded in 2018. They sell three cars: the Neta V crossover, the Neta U SUV, and the brand new Neta S sedan. They also sell a kiddie car called ‘Magic Kid’, with design inspired by the S. The Neta S has a super slippery body with a drag coefficient of just 0.216 Cd. The top-spec version has scissor front doors and a twin-motor four-wheel drive setup. Combined output is 462 hp and 620 Nm for 170 km/h and 0-100 in 3.9 seconds. Range is 650 kilometers CLTC. Pre-sales of the scissor-door car have started, with a price of 338,800 yuan or 50,070 USD. The lesser versions will get normal doors but pricing for those hasn’t been announced yet. The Neta S comes with back-lighted logos as standard, continuing a trend that started back in 2019. Chinese customers see this as a sign of modern tech and luxury. Today, almost every new Chinese car, be it gasoline or electric, has some sort lighted logo system. [Editor’s Note: I’m sure Wolseley owners all over the globe are feeling very vindicated right now – JT]

Neta S 2
Neta S ADAS.

Nice doors. Any news on ADAS? Yes, it has a lot of that too! Neta’s L2 ADAS system is called TA Pilot 4.0. It has 35 sensors: two Huawei solid-state lidars with a max range of 150 meters, 5 millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 5 surround-view cameras, and 11 high-definition cameras. However, we got to be a bit careful here, because Neta keeps changing the exact number of sensors, even after pre-sales begun. Earlier on, they said 30, then 28, then 35. The data received is ultimately handled by a Huawei MDC 610 with 200 TOPS of computing power. Neta is already developing their next ADAS system, TA Pilot 5.0, which will get 1000 TOPS. ADAS functions include automatic emergency braking, lane departure assist, smart cruise assist, a summon-function called Neta Magic Summon, and smart parking assist.

Neta S 3
So many lidars, sensors, and cameras. One can imagine the manufacturer gets a bit confused…

NIO ES7

Nio 2
NIO ES7.

NIO is a relatively new Chinese car maker, with a lineup of six EVs. They recently started selling cars in Europe and have plans to enter the American market too. Their latest and most advanced car is the NIO ES7, a new SUV that slots between the NIO ES6 and the NIO ES8. The ES7 sports a twin-motor four-wheel drive powertrain with 653 hp and 850 Nm, good for 200 km/h and 0-100 in 3.9 seconds. The top model has a 100 kWh battery for a 620 km CLTC range. NIO is working in a solid-state battery version with a 930 km range, set to launch next year. The ES7 is also the first Chinese electric SUV on the market with a tow-hitch option. In the past, nobody cared for tow hitches, but nowadays ever more Chinese consumers buy boats, ATVs, jet skis, camping trailers, and whatnot more, so tow hitches have become an absolute necessity.

Nio 3
NIO ES7 ADAS.

Impressive. But… ADAS? Oh yes. NIO may be best known for their battery-swap technology, but they are pretty good with ADAS as well. NIO’s ADAS is called Aquila Super Sensing. It has 33 sensors, including one lidar with a 500 meter range, seven 8-million-pixel cameras, four 3-million-pixel light-sensitive cameras, one ADMS (Advanced Driver Monitoring System), five millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 2 high-precision positioning sensors (GPS+ IMU (inertial measurement unit (IMU)) sensor, and one V2X (vehicle-to-everything) unit.

Nio 4
NVIDIA Orin-X chips on an image released by NIO.

Computing power comes from four (!)  NVIDIA Orin-X chips with a total output of 1,016 TOPS. That may seem extreme, but NIO says: “Horse power and computing power define the new standard of premium smart electric vehicles”.

Rising R7

Feifan R7 1

Rising is a new EV-brand under SAIC, basically a continuation of the earlier R-line of vehicles under the Roewe brand. Chinese car makers love nothing more than launching new brands and/or rebranding existing brands and/or resurrecting seemingly dead brands. Rising makes 3 cars right now: the Roewe based Rising ER6 and Rinsing Marvel R, and the recently launched Rising R7, which stands on a newly developed EV platform. The R7 is a sporty SUV-coupe with a drag coefficient of 0.238 Cd and a HUD that doubles as a cinema screen. The top-spec twin-motor car has 544 hp & 700 Nm, a 90 kWh battery, a 606 kilometer CLTC range and a top speed of 200 km/h. The top model is priced at 350.000 yuan. The R7 is on pre-sale since February but actual deliveries have been delayed due to chip shortages and lock downs, a problem that faces most Chinese car makers at the moment.

Feifan R7 2
Rising R7 ADAS.

Nice name! And what does it have for ADAS? Well, quite a lot. Rising’s ADAS is called PP-CEMTM. With 33 sensors, including: 1 lidar, 2 4D imaging radars,4 long-distance radars, 12 ultrasonic radars, 4 millimeter wave radars, 12 cameras, one high precision navigation system, and one driver monitoring system (DMS). It uses a 254 TOPS NVIDIA Orin-X chip for the calculations.

Feifan R7 3
Rising R7 lidar.

The lidar and the long-distance radar system are supplied by US-based Luminar Technologies.

XPeng P5

Xpeng 1
Xpeng P5.

XPeng is a Chinese EV maker founded in 2014. They sell three cars: the P7 sedan, the G3i crossover and the P5 sedan. Soon, they’ll add the new G9 flagship SUV to their lineup. I would have preferred to discuss the G9 here but XPeng hasn’t announced much ADAS details yet. So I go for their second-most advanced machine; the P5. The ultra smooth 0.223 cD sedan has a single motor up front with an output of 211 hp and 310 Nm. The 193.900 yuan top version has a 71.4 kWh battery pack for a range of 600 kilometers NEDC. It also has an onboard-cinema with a giant drop-down screen and a spaceman virtual digital assistant that you can choose a face for.

Xpeng 2
XPeng P5 ADAS.

Oh cool. Any word on ADAS on this one? Sure. Lots of words. XPeng calls the P5 the “first mass-produced lidar-equipped smart car”. The ADAS system is called XPilot 3.5, and it packs a lot of sensors for the money; 32 to be precise, with: 2 lidars with a 150 meter max detection distance, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 5 millimeter-wave radars, 5 ADAS monocular cameras, 4 surround view monocular cameras, 1 forward- facing trifocal camera, and 1 driver monitoring camera. The lidars are positioned on either side of the bumper. It can do all the usual ADAS stuff but there is one thing that stands out; it has multi-story valet parking assist, with the car able to drive itself up and down in a multi-story parking, looking for an empty spot. Many other cars discussed have valid-parking, but the P5 is the only one who can do the trick multi-story.

Interestingly, XPeng takes a different route than the others when it comes to computing power. Instead of going for top TOPS, they went for the 30 TOPS Nvidia Jetson Xavier. The company is somewhat silent about the why, but it appears the choose the Xavier because of its low power consumption and because it is easy for car makers to develop new applications that run on the chip. Even if that is all true and wise, I fully expect XPeng to fir their cars with faster chips in the near future.

Xpeng 3
Qualqomm Snapdragon on an image released by XPeng.

And like Li Auto, XPeng uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon SA8155P secondary chip, which, again, is proudly displayed on the company’s website. See? No matter the geopolitical rivalries, America can still help China create the EVs that one day will defeat Detroit.

 

Winners

So who wins the pissing contest? My grandma always said: when you don’t know the answer, make a table. So I did that. The prices are of the model described in the text, which is usually the top-spec variant. For the final objective ranking, the scientific formula is: Price : TOPS x sensors : lidar. The car with the lowest score wins. There are 3 subjective bonus points: one for coolest lidar setup, one for coolest car, and one for coolest car maker. Each bonus points reduces the score with 5.000 points. Here is the result:

Aa Table 3
The winners and losers.

So that’s it! Your top 3 ADAS pissers: the Arfox α-S wins, thanks to its affordable price, lidars and TOPS. It is closely followed by the Avatr 11 in second place, a car with near identical data, but it costs a bit more and it has a sensor less. Third price is a surprise: the very expensive Lotus Eletre is helped by four lidars and high TOPS. Checking out the losers. on 10th place the HiPhi Z, which is kind of sad, even with the bonus it had. The single lidar combined with a high price lets it down. At 11 we find the Xpeng P5, it is by far the lowest price car but it is also low on TOPS. Finally, last place is no surprise, the Leap Motor C01 scores a massive 900.000 points due to its paltry 8.4 TOPS.

Congrats to the Arcfox!

End notes.

As you may have noted, there are two notable names missing from the list. The first is BYD, which sells more EVs and PHEVs than all of the discussed brands combined. They are also far ahead in battery technology, as they build all their batteries in-house. But BYD is strangely behind in ADAS tech. For example, their latest sedan, the Han, has no lidar and only 1 millimeter wave radar, 8 ultrasonic radars, and five cameras. Another company missing is Changan Auto, which only recently got into the high-end EV market with their Shenlan brand, but they still got some way to go with their ADAS development. The finally notable missing business is FAW, owner of, among others, the Hongqi brand. They too just didn’t get very far with ADAS yet. But I bet that if I write an update on this story next year, I’d have to include all these brands and many more.

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23 Responses

  1. That HiPhi looks amazing! I want one right now!!!

    Curious as to why they come out with new names, isn’t brand recognition a thing over there?

    Maybe people there just want the new hotness regardless of what company it is? Or they want to say they got in on the ground floor or something?

    Maybe it depends, some days I want to take risks, maybe today I’m just being risk averse.

  2. With all these great assist systems out there, I wish one would at least give the “driver” the option to have a “Blind Spot” like you haven’t adjusted your mirrors in 14 months.
    You know, to keep the other vehicles assist systems on their toes.

  3. Who in this country would be interested in buying any car with some alpha-numeric name built in China? With this many offerings, I am sure that every one of them will still be building cars five years from now ;>) !

    1. China has 1 billion more people than the US does. Think about the buying power the lower 1/2 of Americans had from the ‘50s through the ‘70s. In the decade centered on 1970, a guy could get an entry-level manufacturing job right out of HS which would enable him to buy a new-albeit cheap-car a year out of school, and a modest house within 5 years

  4. That Hippy (sic*) Z is just bonkers! I love suicide doors, but I wonder about the practicality of them given that a fair portion of China is subject to monsoon season. With the rear windows going down, then the roof lifting, it seems like you could easily get 1/4” of water inside in a very short time (based on 40+ yo memories of water absolutely >sheeting< down in Nagasaki during monsoon rains). I’m glad it exists, tho, especially that it doesn’t appear to me to be a copy of anything. But, what’s with the ‘Welcome’ on the side trim?

    *thats how I voiced it in my head. And likely to stay cached that way given that ‘Hiffy’ sounds too much like a cute nickname acquired by daughters of Old Money at one of the Seven Sisters colleges. So, Tycho, how IS it pronounced?

  5. Those EVs have impressive hardware lists for sure. Still not giving up the wheel to any of them. They might be incredible but I suspect the AI/software is subject to the “good enough, ship it” attitude I deal with in China all the time.

    FWIW, I wouldn’t let a Tesla drive me either.

  6. Interesting to see a summary of the specs, but is there any objective source for how these actually perform on the road? I’m curious about how these compare, and I guess also a bit curious about the state of automotive journalism in China. Does China have the equivalent of “Consumer Reports” ratings for cars? Or respected automotive journals that give guidance to consumers?

  7. I swear every day a new automaker is randomly generated in China. It IS a big country though. Do these brands have a dealership in every bigger city? Does the average Chinese recognise all these brands, or even they’re confused?

      1. Half the reason we have these “vehicles” to is to move from place to place on your own.

        Relaxing… while “sitting” in a creeping “vehicle” around another 7,000 other similarly creeping “vehicles” while they all are “relaxing”… all because a Traffic Jam has tied up movement to X place?

        And the answer is… remove myself from the actual act of driving / being responsible for moving from one place to another.. and allow a “laptop on 4 wheels” to do it for me, for what benefit?

        Sounds like.. China has given up on the point / purpose of a vehicle.. and instead wants you to be watching your LARGER Device nestled inside Laptop on 4 wheels.. next to your smaller one.

        Also… sitting in “traffic” with 7,000+ others as we all “relax” and “watch” a movie.. seems like a precursor to being bored (what is ACTUALLY HAPPENING) and eventually falling asleep and now being inable to be responsible for your own well being.. or anyone elses inside a moving vehicle.

        No thank you.
        Bad enough people fall asleep, cause accidents due to inability to operate a vehicle properly.. on their regular devices during regular moving traffic.

        P.S
        China, India, LA, Toronto… any where involving large amounts of moving vehicles moving from X to Y involve some.. inability to pay attention. “Autopilot”—- IN NAME ONLY—- D O E S N O T A C T U A L L Y D O AS D E S I G N E D.

        (Lets not get started on the numerous other issues associated with “relaxing” 5g wireless connection of the vehicle and your own device or the MAJOR CHINESE GOVT SPYING Issues).

  8. I wonder if anyone at HiPhi realizes that Operation New Horizons is a recurring military exercise in Central and South America with the US Southern Command? As soon as I saw the name I started giggling uncontrollably. Does Xi know about this?

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