The German developer of remotely piloted mobility solutions Vay is hoping to become the first company with a driverless, certified commercial mobility service operating on public streets in Europe.
“Our advanced technology enables a person (the ‘teledriver’) to remotely drive a vehicle (‘teledriving’). This allows for a safe and timely rollout of driverless mobility services that users and cities trust as a human is still in full control,” said Vay co-founder and CEO Thomas von der Ohe.
It plans to commence operations as early as 2022, putting its ‘teledrivers’ at the steering wheel of vehicles in metropolitan areas. Vay’s fleet of vehicles is already operating with safety drivers across all of Berlin today, and recent technological and regulatory advancements will allow it to remove the safety driver from vehicles next year.
The company says its system is designed to be safer than conventional driving by controlling the top four causes of fatal urban accidents: speeding, intoxication, distraction and fatigue. In addition, when compared with conventional driving from within a car, the teledrivers have augmented skills, including 360° blindspot-free vision.
“As our system does not rely on expensive 360° lidar sensors, and is therefore comparatively inexpensive, our way of rolling out driverless vehicles will not only enable consumers to experience driverless mobility sooner, but also provide a highly scalable solution that can be integrated into every car. Having spent six years in Silicon Valley, we are now eager to build a global, first-of-its kind, deep-tech company from Europe”, noted von der Ohe.
Vay plans to offer a door-to-door transportation service where users can order a car, then drive themselves to their destination. Upon arrival they will be able to leave the car without having to park it. The company suggests its technology can be applied to many other use cases, ranging from ride hailing to ridesharing, from parcel to food delivery, from buses to trucks, and from mining to construction machinery.