Imperium Drive launches remote-driver car hire service in Milton Keynes

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Imperium Drive has announced the launch of Fetch, an on-demand car hire service in Milton Keynes, UK, that uses remote-controlled and driverless vehicles to connect customers with various locations. The service is scheduled to be rolled out across the UK in the future.

Using the Fetch application from a smartphone, users can hire a car for a period of time, with the electric vehicle delivered to the user’s location under the control of a remote operator. The user can then drive the car as they wish, and once they have finished, the car is picked up by a remote vehicle operator who drives it to the next user or to a nearby base. Multiple cameras on the Fetch vehicle provide of a 360° view of the car’s surroundings to the remote operator.

At present, Imperium Drive is running four cars in its Fetch fleet, which covers a four-mile radius around central Milton Keynes. The company plans to open additional regional hubs to facilitate intercity travel and airport transfers at a later date.

Imperium Drive aims to achieve full autonomy for car deliveries in the next five years.

“It’s driverless but not autonomous – yet,” said Koosha Kaveh, chief executive of Imperium Drive. “There’s still a human involved, but they’re sitting in a control centre piloting the vehicle in the same way you would a drone.

“When fully autonomous, we think this system has the potential to replace private car ownership in the UK. Why pay all the costs of having a car on your drive when you can just pay for one to arrive when you need it. For short trips, the service offers the same convenience as a ride-hailing or taxi service, but with the ability to cover greater distances at less than half the cost of services like Uber or Bolt.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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