The US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NHTSA require all cars made outside of the US to meet a series of standards before they are allowed to operate on public roads.
These standards include safety features, traction control, anti-lock brakes, airbags, and lighting.
Xpeng is also developing self-driving technology platform, called XPilot, that could be added into its vehicles and offer hands-free driving.
In addition, the company also renewed its Autonomous Vehicles Testing Permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles which places it alongside 60 other businesses, including Uber, Tesla, and Waymo, who have received the same permit.
"Testing on the roads in the U.S. will supplement the tremendous amount of tests we've already done in China. It's another step forward for our closed-loop R&D approach to autonomous driving, including developing full-scenario vehicle perception capabilities, positioning, planning, decision-making, testing and upgrading. This is the only way to maintain our long-term competitive advantage," said Dr. Xinzhou Wu, View President of Autonomous Driving at Xpeng Motors.
Even though Xepng has been approved for self-driving testing, the company's XPilot program was designed for China's roadway conditions including crowded city areas and a "low speed follow function" designed to deal with aggressive drivers.
The approved vehicle, the P7 sedan, is Xpeng's second produced car and will be joining the G3 SUV. The company claims the P7 will have a range of around 438 miles which would make it the largest range out of any electric vehicle in China.
The P7 has also been tested in extreme cold conditions for 120 days which was designed to stress the car's battery and other components during adverse weather conditions. Xpeng uses a thermal management system it designs in order to heat up or cool down the battery when needed.
The P7 was designed to help the company compete with Tesla's Model 3 and Model S within China, but with a lower cost. Currently, the Tesla Model S starts at around $113,000 whereas the P7 sedan started at around $32,000 and goes as high as $52,000.
The car was originally introduced in April of 2019 and the company is aiming to begin delivering the car to consumers in China by Q2 of this year.