Covid-19 Virus Drives Up Sales Of Driverless Vehicles

Tue 17th Mar 2020

While the global coronavirus crisis may be having a significant impact on the motor industry, there are some areas of growth still.

While millions of people are self-isolating and remaining in their homes, one Chinese company has seen an increase in their innovative driverless vehicles. Beijing based start-up Neolix which has developed a unique driverless delivery van has seen sales surge since the virus took hold earlier this year. It is thought that the vans will be used to transport medicine, food and other goods across city centres, as well as being used to sterilise abandoned streets.

While previously the use of automated vehicles has been restricted in China, the authoritarian government has relaxed the rules and is even subsidising the cost of the driverless vans with a 60 per cent discount.

While the company had only sold 125 vehicles since launching in May last year, they have now sold 200 in the last two months and the company’s founder is expecting production to rise 

Yu Enyuan, the founder of Neolix, told Bloomberg: “Demand has been surging since the virus outbreak and more importantly, people’s perception toward driverless delivery had a complete 180-degree shift.

“People realise that such vehicles can get things done when it is risky for a human being to do so.

“The industry has entered into a fast expansion phase because of the virus.”