NIO recently announced that the Chinese electric car maker would be adding on to its NIO Pilot autonomy system with two new features, a Navigate on Pilot (NOP) and Self-Automatic Parking Assist with Fusion (S-APA with Fusion).
NIO has frequently been called the ‘Tesla of China’ over its short history and has been one of the few new automakers that have been able to survive (although they have been having a fair share of financial woes). But perhaps NIO takes the comparison to Tesla a little bit far. Instead of Autopilot, NIO terms their autonomous driving system as ‘NIO Pilot’, which is fair, but has a lot of similarities to Tesla’s interface, down to the way it advertises the system.
Comparisons aside, they say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and unless actual source code from Tesla’s Autopilot was stolen, then there isn’t too much wrongdoing going on.
Evidently similar to Tesla’s Autopilot, the NIO Pilot also goes through incremental changes with features being added as the software improves. This time NIO is adding a feature that any Tesla fan will feel sounds familiar, Navigate on Pilot. Kinda sounds like Navigate on Autopilot, doesn’t it?
You’ll be happy to know that if functions basically like Navigate on Autopilot does.
NOP is based on the deep fusion of the navigation system and the NIO Pilot features. It enables the vehicle to drive on and off ramps, pass other vehicles, merge lanes, and navigate planned routes.
Along with the NOP another feature was added Self-Automatic Parking Assist with Fusion (S-APA with Fusion) which is described accordingly:
The S-APA with Fusion function combines surrounding view cameras with ultrasonic radars to understand the immediate environment more accurately, and can be engaged via NOMI’s voice control system. With the upgrade, the vehicle will be able to detect parking slots based on parking space lines, recognize multiple consecutive available parking spaces, and choose a target parking slot.
Not as interesting as the Navigate on Pilot feature, but still a welcome feature nonetheless.
It’s a shame that NIO has seemed to have been in constant financial trouble over the past few years, and the situation isn’t any better with the current virus. The company is one of my favorite new automakers and in my opinion, has the most promising Chinese electric cars.