The news follows XPeng’s announcement at its annual 1024 Tech Day that the G9 passed a government-led autonomous driving closed field test, which made it eligible for approval of further testing.

Most, if not all, current autonomous vehicle operators rely on existing vehicle models that have been retrofitted with hardware and software suites to drive autonomously. In the U.S., Waymo uses Jaguar I-Paces and Cruise uses Chevrolet Bolts.

XPeng will integrate data from both private passenger vehicles and autonomous test vehicles to continue to operate both systems in parallel, a spokesperson said.

The company aims to test its vehicle for robotaxi applications over the next two to three years as it develops its next generation vehicle, with the goal of launching that by 2025 as one of the options, according to Xinzhou Wu, XPeng’s VP of autonomous driving.

“Hopefully the software will be in good shape by then so we can at least see a limited scenario similar to what Cruise is doing now,” Wu told TechCrunch.

Wu said that while the new vehicle will have a full sensor suite, it probably won’t come in the form of a purpose-built AV — XPeng for now is sticking with a strategy of using the same mass-produced vehicle for passenger vehicle sales as it does for robotaxi operations.

XPeng also doesn’t intend to run its own robotaxi operation in the future. The company envisions itself as more of a provider of the software, and possibly the hardware, stack for other ride-hail focused companies.

XPeng to begin autonomous driving public road tests in Guangzhou by Rebecca Bellan originally published on TechCrunch