Original link: https://www.latepost.com/news/dj_detail?id=1297
Xiaomi’s first car will use Hesai lidar, with a price ceiling of over 300,000 yuan
“Late Auto” exclusively learned that Xiaomi’s first car has been identified as the laser radar supplier Hesai Technology, and the price ceiling exceeds 300,000 yuan. This will be a sedan.
In the live broadcast of Mi Fan’s Open Day on April 6 last year, Lei Jun mentioned the results of the price vote he launched on Weibo: Among the 17,000 voters, nearly 7 adults hoped that Xiaomi’s first car should not exceed 150,000 yuan, and nearly 1 adult Hope is more than 300,000 yuan. Now it seems that the higher configuration version of this car has reached the upper limit of consumer expectations.
Xiaomi has entered the mobile phone market as a subversive, and has greatly reduced prices by selling directly online and removing intermediate channels. The Xiaomi Mi 1, released in 2011 and priced at 1999 yuan, was cheaper than the mainstream smartphones available at the time.
In the auto industry, Xiaomi may not replicate the path of the past. The automotive supply chain is more complex than that of mobile phones. Nowadays, upstream prices are rising, out of stock, and cost control has become a challenge for all car companies. Xiaomi, who has been ups and downs in the mobile phone market for many years, now has a deeper understanding of the pros and cons of cost-effectiveness. “Price butcher” is not necessarily the pursuit of Xiaomi.
More importantly, China’s electric vehicle market is accelerating, with penetration and sales exceeding expectations. Xiaomi, which will only launch its first car in 2024, must come up with products that have enough selling points, such as the smart ability to surpass its rivals. It’s hard for a cheap car to carry product power.
According to “Late Auto”, the specific lidar configuration of Xiaomi’s first model is one Hesai hybrid solid-state radar AT128 as the main radar, and several Hesai all-solid-state radars are used as blind-filling radars.
All-solid-state lidar has a larger viewing angle and smaller blind area than hybrid solid-state radar, and is suitable for blindness. An industry insider commented that this configuration of Xiaomi is better than the current solution of some models using hybrid solid-state radar to fill blind spots.
Lidar is a key sensor for enabling high-level autonomous driving. A person close to Xiaomi told Late Auto that Lei Jun firmly believes that the end of smart electric vehicles is autonomous driving, and Xiaomi has invested 3 billion yuan in autonomous driving.
In August last year, Xiaomi acquired autonomous driving technology company Shendong Technology, which formed Xiaomi’s autonomous driving algorithm team, for $77 million. Xiaomi’s self-driving team currently has 500 people, and plans to expand to 600 by the end of this year; Xiaomi has 40 self-driving road test vehicles.
Xiaomi is investing in supply chain companies such as autonomous driving chips and lidars. After announcing the production of cars last year, Xiaomi Group invested in Hesai Technology; Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Fund twice led the investment in self-driving chip company Black Sesame Intelligence, and this year led the investment in Lidar company Sagitar Juchuang. Shunwei Capital, founded by Lei Jun before the establishment of Xiaomi, has successively invested in the lidar company Beixing Photonics (invested in 2016 at the earliest) and Tudatong (invested in August 2021).
Many new models released since last year have been equipped with lidar. The hybrid solid-state radar AT128 released by Hesai Technology last year is the standard radar of the ideal L9 that has just started to be delivered. Sagitar Juchuang will supply lidars for Xpeng’s new SUV G9, which will be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year. Tudatong is the supplier of Weilai ET5 and ET7, and the delivery of ET7 has begun.
According to a previous report from 36氪, Xiaomi has selected CATL and BYD’s Fudi battery to provide car batteries. Battery. Ningde Times said that the Kirin battery can achieve a battery life of 1,000 kilometers and will be delivered in the first quarter of next year. (Text, edited by Dou Yajuan, Cheng Manqi)
FAW will use Cambrian self-driving chips
“Late Auto” exclusively learned that the self-driving chip company Cambrian Xingge has reached a cooperation with FAW, and its first self-driving chip has been taped out. .
The chip company Cambrian was established in 2016. The founding team came from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It will be listed on the Science and Technology Innovation Board in 2020. The current market value is about 32 billion yuan. At the beginning of 2021, Cambrian launched the in-vehicle chip business and established a subsidiary Xingge Technology, specializing in autonomous driving chips.
According to Cambricon’s announcement, Cambricon and its affiliates currently hold 90% of Xingge’s shares. SAIC, NIO, and Ningde Times invested 12 million yuan in Xingge in June last year, holding a total of 6% of the shares. “Late Auto” learned that the current Xingge team has hundreds of people.
In March of this year, Wang Ping, executive president of Xingge, former McKinsey global managing partner and head of the automotive industry in Greater China, said at the China Electric Vehicle 100 Conference that Xingge’s first autonomous driving chip is positioned at the L2+ level, the largest With a computing power of 16 TOPS, “a single SoC can realize the integrated function of parking and driving, and promote the coverage of the automatic driving system to entry-level models of about 100,000 yuan.”
People close to Xingge said that in addition to FAW, Xingge is also working hard to expand other customers, and the first batch of target customers are traditional domestic OEMs.
Before this year, most of Cambrian’s revenue came from providing “intelligent computing cluster systems” to the government. In 2021, Cambrian’s revenue will be 720 million yuan, of which 450 million yuan will come from this business. Excessive reliance on government customers has also made Cambrian questioned in the capital market.
In the first half of this year, the share of products such as Cambrian cloud chips has increased, and it has now replaced government business as the main business revenue, contributing 81% of revenue.
At the 2020 annual performance briefing, Cambrian founder Chen Tianshi said that intelligent driving is one of the important areas of AI chips, and the market space for automotive chips will be broad in the next few years, and Cambrian will not be absent from this important application scenario.
At present, Intel’s Mobileye, Nvidia and Qualcomm occupy the main market share of autonomous driving chips. According to Mobileye’s official website, the cumulative shipments of Mobileye Q-series chips will reach 100 million in 2021.
Nvidia’s Orin chip is the first choice for new car-making forces with self-developed algorithms. According to NVIDIA’s financial report for the first quarter of fiscal year 2023 (as of May 1, 2022), more than 35 automakers around the world have confirmed that they will use NVIDIA Orin chips, including Chinese automakers Weilai, Xiaopeng, Ideal, Weimar, SAIC Zhiji, BYD, Volvo, Lotus, etc.
The target customers of Cambrian Xingge—traditional car companies are still low in intelligence. According to statistics from Soochow Securities, from Q1 of 2021 to Q1 of 2022, the penetration rate of new automakers in the APA automatic parking, the representative function of L2 autopilot, is about 60%, and the penetration rate of traditional automakers is 15% to 20%. .
Among the domestic self-driving chip companies, the two with the highest valuations are Horizon and Black Sesame Intelligence. Horizon’s shareholders include auto companies such as SAIC, GAC, Great Wall, and BYD. Shareholders of Black Sesame include Xiaomi, Weilai and SAIC.
Horizon is currently the largest domestic chip maker with the largest market share. Its mass-produced chip Journey 3, with a single-chip computing power of 5 TOPS, will be installed in the facelift of the Ideal ONE in June 2021.
In July last year, Horizon launched the next-generation autonomous driving chip, Journey 5, with a single-chip computing power of 128 TOPS. According to Chen Liming, President of Horizon, Journey 5 has received mass production orders from BYD, SAIC, FAW-Hongqi, Niu Chuang and other auto companies.
On August 31, Nvidia said the U.S. government asked it not to export high-end GPU chips A100 and H100 to Chinese and Russian customers unless there was a new export license.
Although A100 is not a chip used in cars like Nvidia Orin, it is a big cloud chip that is difficult to replace when training autonomous driving systems.
He Xiaopeng, the founder of Xiaopeng Motors, said on social media yesterday that export restrictions will bring challenges to all autonomous driving cloud training. Fortunately, Xiaopeng has bought back the chips in advance.
Less than half an hour after He Xiaopeng said this, Nvidia announced that it had been authorized by the U.S. government to continue to supply the A100 to U.S. customers for products exported to China by March next year, and to continue fulfilling orders for the A100 and H100 by September next year. . This gives Chinese companies that must use the A100 a replenishment window, and probably the last window. (Text, edited by Dou Yajuan, Wang Hailu)
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