The fatal crash took place this past week in China and involved the company’s ES8 sport-utility vehicle, or SUV. The vehicle is equipped with several driver assistance functions, including features enabled by
(ticker: INTC) division Mobileye, that enable some forms of autonomous driving. NIO’s driver assistance functions are called NIO Pilot and employ cameras as the so-called eyes of the car.
NIO has other autonomous driving technology, referred to as NAD, such as radar, lidar—a laser-based radar—and camera vision, as well as computing power provided partly by
(NVDA) to process all the data points coming at the car.
The NAD features don’t appear to be available on all NIO vehicles, including the ES8. All autonomous driving systems require the driver to pay attention to the road at all times.
NIO wasn’t immediately available to comment on the reports or the driver assistance configuration.
The global automotive industry is still wrestling with regulatory and branding issues surrounding autonomous technology. Self-driving features, such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, make driving safer as long as systems are used as intended. But drivers might rely too much on the features when systems are dubbed pilot or autopilot. Government safety regulators, such as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are still drafting plans to prepare for the introduction of more advance self-driving features.
Coming into Monday trading, NIO stock is down about 16% so far in 2021. Still, shares have gained almost 23% over the past three months. Strong delivery numbers and fading effects of the global automotive semiconductor shortage that has constrained light vehicle production have helped to improve investor sentiment.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]