“NIO‘s founder William Li Bin’s level in the company is six, while his level is five,” a NIO insider said, adding that NIO attaches great importance to the independent R&D of autonomous driving technology, so Huang’s move was not surprising.
In July 2021, Huang posted a brief message on his personal WeChat social media thread – “Grateful, goodbye, blessings” – igniting speculation that his resignation from XPeng was imminent. During his tenure as director of autonomous driving products for the company, he helped bring about NGP and memory parking projects.
NIO has long engaged with professionals across the field of autonomous driving. In August 2020, as the R&D director of driverless tech startup Momenta, Ren Shaoqing joined NIO and initially served as assistant vice president. In December 2020, the company restarted the independent development of L4 autonomous driving, and promoted intra-company director of autonomous driving Zhang Jianyong as assistant vice president. Zhang was an early employee of NIO and was previously responsible for the pre-development of autonomous driving in SAIC Motor from 2013 to 2014.
NIO‘s autonomous driving technology has also been applied to vehicle models. The firm’s ET7 model, officially delivered at its Hefei factory on Monday, is equipped with NAD (NIO Autonomous Driving), an 8 mega-pixel high-definition camera, an ultra-long-distance high-precision radar and the NIO Adam, a super computing platform which can achieve full coverage of scenarios such as expressway, urban areas, parking and power exchange.