Chinese company invests in driverless solar powered cars

November 18, 2015 0 By Amanda Giasson
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China Vanke has just tested a self-driving patrol car.

The Chinese real estate development company and largest property developer in China, China Vanke, is working on developing driverless solar powered cars and other robots. According to the company, which recently announced that its autonomous patrol car has finished testing, it is developing these projects to address problems of labor shortages in China.

The car is electrically powered by solar panels and can seat up to six people.

According to a news report from Reuters, the driverless car is equipped with six seats and a large space in the center. It can reach a speed of up to 22 miles per hour (30 kilometers). The aim is for these cars to transport people within an enclosed compound. These clean vehicles are guided by GPS and magnetism. Magnets can be placed as far as one meter apart to guide the vehicle, which runs on electricity.

The eco-friendly car receives its electrical power from the sun, via solar panels. A single charge can sufficiently power the car for a full day of use. In addition, the autonomous car is equipped with a small radar at its front, giving it the ability to detect obstacles ahead and activate an emergency stop.

Vanke hopes that its solar powered cars will solve issues that are common problems with traditional cars.

In an interview with Reuters, Zhang Jinming, China Vanke’s Building Research Center’s driverless car project supervisor, said that the company hopes that the project is the future of housing estates. He added that “We hope it can also solve issues that come along with normal cars. First of all, it is safer. It will not cause accidents that are due to human errors, such as having drivers who are drunk or sleepy. Secondly, it can save labor costs.”

In addition to its autonomous solar powered cars, Reueters reported that at many of their canteens, Vanke already has robot chefs in operation. In addition, the company is planning a robot-staffed hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2017 in Shenzen, and will also be releasing a floor-sweeping robot later this month.