Led by two Xpeng test drivers, we were taken on a route through the sprawling metropolis – officially the largest port city in the world – crossing junctions, using side streets, and crawling in heavy traffic. Having preset our destination in the GPS – “we must know where you are going and then we can get you there,” the driver explained – the car followed what it believed to be the quickest route, which it would change based on growing traffic levels, and requiring barely any input from the driver barring the occasion lane change (a flick of the indicator is all that is required).
There are teething problems, though. “The hardest situation for the system is city traffic. That is the biggest challenge,” said one of the Xpeng drivers. On one occasion, another car tried to undertake the P5 while it was turning left at a junction. The CNGP immediately gave control back to the driver to conduct the manoeuvre instead. U-turns are another aspect where driver intervention was required.