Electric vehicle (EV) startup XPeng Motors held a design salon on July 25 in Beijing, to “explore design transformation of AI vehicles”.
The design team behind XPeng Motor’s G3 electric SUV also shared the design concept and journey behind the their newest mass-produced EV at the event held at the Tree Art Museum in Beijing.
Eric Zhao, director of the design center and employee No. 5 at XPeng, shared his journey with XPeng Motors from its infant stages, and how his team has grown to have more than 50 members. Many of them are graduates from world-class automotive design schools and have worked for other renowned car manufacturers.
The design of these AI-powered vehicles needs to keep pace with the transformations in technology, said Zhao, consumers have the rights to decide on the looks of the car.
“We want to echo the taste of the newer generation of consumers and attempt innovative designs on the AI vehicles to create an unique product,” he said.
The event also hosted a panel of G3 designers such as chief designer Zhang Lihua to introduce the design thinking and process behind the new vehicle.
The G3 was first unveiled at the 2018 CES in Las Vegas on January 9. The “G” apparently stands for “Geek” while the number 3 represents its vehicle category. The vehicle’s positioning is “an intelligent vehicle for the young generation,” according to Zhang.
The G3 electric SUV spots a more aggressive yet high-tech look and shares certain sports car features. Its LED headlights design is inspired by the lightsabers from Star Wars and the tail lights design from the view of the stars in a galaxy. The panoramic windshield gives a sense of traveling in outer space with an unobstructed view.
Inside the vehicle is a 15.6-inch suspended touch-control console that controls various functions such as navigation, music, weather and more. The driver can also control all functions using an intelligent voice system.
On top of the vehicle is a 1080p camera that acts as the eyes of the vehicle. It can turn 360 degrees to take photos while on a drive and save them to the cloud.
The vehicle also supports autonomous parking which is realized through XPeng’s autonomous driving platform. This is a great solution to the lack of parking spaces present in many Chinese cities.
XPeng Motors is a Chinese electric self-driving vehicle company established in 2014. Its cofounder and chairman, He Xiaopeng, was also the co-founder of UCWeb Inc. which developed the popular UC Browser.
XPeng Motors has completed Series B fundraising and raised 6 billion yuan ($887.3 million) through all of its rounds. This year, the company plans to raise another 10 billion yuan through equity financing.