XPeng Motors and Alibaba Cloud announced on August 2 that they have jointly built China’s largest intelligent computing center for automated driving in Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia. The center named “Fuyao” is to be used for autonomous driving vehicle model testing. On the same day, He Xiaopeng, founder and chairman of XPeng, wrote on Weibo: “With the computing support of the intelligent center, I believe that in 2025 XPeng will be able to achieve high-level autonomous driving.”
The center is located at a hub node of the Eastern Data and Western Computing Project, and its computing power can reach 600PFLOPS. This project is an important initiative to realize the scale, intensification and greening of arithmetic power. The western region of China optimizes the allocation of arithmetic resources and improves the efficiency of arithmetic resource usage by absorbing the arithmetic demand from the east.
Ulanqab is located at one of eight national computing power hubs. Taking advantage of its unique location and climate advantages, 12 major data centers, including some operated by Alibaba and Apple, have settled in Ulanqab.
According to statistics by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, there are currently more than 20 intelligent computing centers already built and under construction in China, spreading over Gansu, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau-Great Bay Area, Chengdu-Chongqing and other regions.
In response to the national strategy of the Eastern Data and Western Computing Project, XPeng Motors and Alibaba Cloud have jointly built an intelligent computing center in Ulanqab. The center can speed up the training automated driving model by nearly 170 times. The significant increase in model training speed will give a strong impetus to the development of autonomous driving technology, allowing cars to move to a new level of intelligence and safety.
“Fuyao” is also a greener and low-carbon intelligent computing center. It uses air-cooling, AI temperature regulation, modular design and other green technologies in combination with the natural climatic advantages of Ulanqab, and it can achieve full fresh air operation more than 80% of the time throughout the year, with an annual average PUE of less than 1.2. PUE refers to the power usage efficiency of data center energy consumption. The closer this figure is to 1, the more efficient the data center is in utilizing electrical energy.
He Xiaopeng also said that any intelligent car company at present that wants to improve its intelligence must start self-research, which will put forward very high requirements on computing power. The computing power cost will rise from today’s 100 million yuan ($14.81 million) to even one billion yuan ($148 million) in the future. XPeng and Alibaba Cloud’s cooperation in the algorithm and computing power is an efficient way to achieve this.