Xpeng's former autonomous driving head joins Nvidia

FILE PHOTO: Xpeng's former autonomous driving head joins Nvidia

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The former vice president and head of autonomous driving at Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng, Wu Xinzhou, is joining U.S. artificial intelligence giant Nvidia, he said on Thursday.

Wu did not disclose what role he was taking up at Nvidia but Chinese media outlet Jiemian News said he would become its head of automotive products. It did not give a source for the news.

Wu did not immediately respond to a request for further details from Reuters. Nvidia also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wu, who resigned from Xpeng this month, said on his Weibo account that he had joined Nvidia, posting a photo of himself alongside Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang and Xpeng's chairman He Xiaopeng.

Wu had led Xpeng's autonomous driving development efforts from 2018 with more than 1,000 engineers in China and the United States.

Chinese automakers such as Xpeng have been big buyers of Nvidia's chips as they equip their cars with intelligent systems. On Wednesday, Nvidia far exceeded expectations with its quarterly revenue forecast and said it was seeing demand from China surge.

Xpeng, which is among China's top 20 best-selling EV makers, has been upgrading its advanced driver assistance software and has said it plans to make all of its functions available to drivers across China by 2024, as it seeks to gain an edge over U.S. rival Tesla

This month, Xpeng's chairman He said in a social media post disclosing Wu's departure from the company that he was looking forward to continuing to deepen cooperation with Wu in areas including chips.

(This story has been corrected to change the name to Xinzhou, not Xinhou, in paragaph 1)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Zhang Yan; editing by Robert Birsel)