A Chinese self-driving delivery company called Neolix has been deploying fleets of its self-driving vans to transport medical supplies and food to areas of the country hit hardest by COVID-19, including the epidemic’s epicenter in Wuhan. The small vans even have the capacity to disinfect city streets—now empty due to quarantine measures.
The company has booked over 200 orders for its vans over the last two months. Before that, only 125 units had been produced since manufacturing began in May 2019.
After seeing how useful autonomous technologies can be in the midst of a global health crisis, the Chinese government has even offered up a pretty attractive incentive for companies that would like to purchase and operate delivery vans: 60 percent off of the price tag. With that in mind, Neolix expects to manufacture and sell 1,000 vans by the end of the year.