Recently, there have been reports in the industry that Wu Xinzhou, the Vice President of Autonomous Driving at XPeng Motors, will resign and join NVIDIA. Wu Xinzhou is a prominent figure in the intelligent driving industry and is considered to be a key player in XPeng Motors’ smart driving technology. Meanwhile, NVIDIA is a chip giant with a market value of trillions of dollars. This personnel change has sent shockwaves throughout the intelligent driving community.
Currently, Wu Xinzhou is still in his position, according to a source from XPeng Motors. They said, “Wu Xinzhou was still attending internal meetings this morning.” However, it seems that his departure has been confirmed recently. There are even insiders from NVIDIA who revealed, “He may join us as early as one or two months from now. This is already a semi-public secret within the industry.”
Several members of XPeng Motors’ autonomous driving business unit have also indicated that Wu’s departure is quite clear. Meanwhile, He Xiaopeng, Chairman and CEO of XPeng Motors, intends to search for a suitable successor and has even reached out to some co-founders of prominent autonomous driving companies.
Due to their cooperative relationship, Wu Xinzhou has had many interactions with Jensen Huang, the founder and CEO of NVIDIA. According to North American employees, Wu Xinzhou often discloses some meeting contents with Jensen Huang during internal meetings. There are rumors that after joining NVIDIA, Wu Xinzhou will serve as the global vice president and report to Jensen Huang.
Regarding this news, an NVIDIA insider analyzed that if Wu takes on the role of global vice president, his position within NVIDIA is not considered high enough to report directly to Jensen Huang, there is still a senior vice president named Dwight above him.
Wu Xinzhou is the key figure behind XPeng Motors’ “smart driving” label. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University and later obtained master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. Wu Xinzhou has worked for more than ten years at chip company Qualcomm, leading autonomous driving solutions. Since joining XPeng Motors in March 2019, Wu Xinzhou has been fully responsible for guiding XPeng‘s autonomous driving technology development and implementation, establishing the core team and framework for intelligent driving.
During his tenure, Wu Xinzhou fully applied his accumulated engineering capabilities. He not only led the team to launch the high-speed NGP feature based on the 30 TOPS computing power platform of NVIDIA Xavier chip but also completely revamped XPeng Motors’ perception algorithm module in 2021. He introduced new perception technologies such as transformer+BEV and comprehensively studied Tesla’s technical path.
But all along, XPeng Motors’ autonomous driving team has faced a heavy burden. In order to achieve rapid implementation, XPeng used an earlier generation of NVIDIA Xavier chips more than its competitors. This has resulted in inconsistencies in the autonomous driving hardware across multiple models such as G3, P5, P7, and G9 from XPeng Motors, posing challenges for future feature updates and data-driven advancements.
XPeng intelligent driving is facing significant competition pressure. This year, companies such as Huawei and Li Auto have announced their rapid progress in the urban NOA field, with the number of cities where they have implemented NOA reaching 45 and 100 respectively. XPeng‘s goal, on the other hand, is to open up 50 cities this year.