German startup Vay has launched its first commercial mobility service in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a ‘teledriver’, or remote driver, will deliver the car to the customer and collect it after use.
Currently, the service is available around the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and the city’s Arts District. Users can order an electric car via the Vay app and the teledriver delivers the car to the user from the teledrive center. The user can then drive the car to their destination.
Remote drivers, who are trained within the Vay Teledrive Academy, sit at a teledrive station with a steering wheel, pedals and other vehicle controls. The car surroundings are reproduced via camera sensors and transmitted to the screens and microphones of the drive station.
Unlike AVs, there service relies on a remote human driver, so once the customer has reached their destination, a teledriver can park the vehicle or take it to the next user.
The service’s safety standards were tested and endorsed by TÜV Süd, an independent third-party for testing, certification, auditing and advisory services.
With a per-minute rental system, users only pay for the time they use the car. As an initial offer, users are charged US$0.30 per minute when driving and US$0.03 per minute for stopovers.
A user statement of the early access phase, said, “The new Vay service is not only the least expensive option to get from A to B, but it also provides me with the freedom to travel at my own pace as I’m alone in the car.”
Co-founder and CEO Thomas von der Ohe said, “After five years of developing our technology, we are bringing our vision to life in Las Vegas. Our convenient, affordable and sustainable door-to-door mobility service aims to free cities from parked cars and make them more liveable and greener.”