Reviews China Could Drive Demand for Autonomous Cars, VW Exec Says

18:59  12 march  2018
18:59  12 march  2018 Source:   MSN

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a red car© Volkswagen

China is the world's largest new-car market, so it already holds considerable sway over the decisions of automakers. But when it comes to self-driving cars, China could be particularly important, Christian Senger, Volkswagen's head of electric mobility told journalists at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.



During a media roundtable, Senger said VW expects China to adopt new regulations that incentivize autonomous cars, according to TechCrunch. China currently offers subsidies for electric cars, but it could soon do the same for cars with specific levels of autonomy, Senger said.

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"Right now you need to have [an] electric drivetrain, a minimum range, and local production and then you get subsidies," Senger said. "There are a lot of indicators that this will now change that also the level of automated driving is a required premise to get subsidies. So the future of our market success is also dependent on our self-driving abilities."

If these new regulations are enacted, they could be a major leap forward for self-driving cars. Requiring certain levels of automation to get subsidies would stimulate development and sales of autonomous cars but, more importantly, China would have to create standards for measuring autonomy levels. That would add a new level of clarity and organization to a technology that is still very much in the Wild West stage when it comes to standards.

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Subsidizing autonomous driving could be an attempt to gain an advantage in self-driving cars, just as it has tried to do with electric cars. Heavy incentives for electric cars were created in part to create a ready market for local automakers to fill. Self-driving car testing is underway in China, but the government has tried to block foreign companies from mapping the country's roads, which could slow down their development work.

Subsidies aren't the only advantage China may have when it comes to self-driving cars. A recent TÜV Rheinland study found that Chinese consumers are twice as trusting of self-driving cars as their U.S. and German counterparts. So, if automakers sell large numbers of autonomous cars in China, there should be healthy demand for them.

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This $10,000 3D-Printed Electric Car Will Be on the Market in 1 Year .
Consumers in China will be able to buy mass-produced, 3D-printed electric cars for under $10,000 by Q2 2019. The Italian company X Electrical Vehicle (XEV) will team up with Polymaker, a manufacturer of 3-D printing materials, to make the LSEV, which XEV claims will be the first mass-produced 3D-printed car. The company says it has already received more than 7,000 orders for the cars from the Italian postal service and from ARVAL, a vehicle-leasing service. The cars top out at 70 kilometers per hour (a little under 45 MPH) and have a range of 150 kilometers (just over 90 miles). A designer for XEV told South China Morning Post that China was the biggest market for their cars, and the company is in talks to set up a production line on the mainland. The cars reportedly take around three days to manufacture. Everything visible on the car except the windows, chassis, and seats is 3D printed.

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