Berlin-based Vay unveiled its new “teledriving” technology in September that puts “teledrivers” at the steering wheel of vehicles in a remote fashion in metropolitan areas.
Vay wants to become the first company with a driverless, certified commercial mobility service operating on public streets in Europe—as early as next year.
“Our advanced technology enables a person (the “teledriver”) to remotely drive a vehicle (“teledriving”),” said Thomas Von Der Ohe, Co-founder and CEO of Vay. 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.”
Company vehicles are already operating with safety drivers across all of Berlin, although Vay said recent technological and regulatory advancements will allow it to remove the safety driver from its vehicles in 2022.
“As our system does not rely on expensive 360-degree 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,” said Von Der Ohe.
Vay plans to launch the project as an affordable (a fraction of the cost of an Uber ride) door-to-door transportation service, where consumers can order a vehicle that will arrive within minutes, and will be able to leave it without having to park it.
The company is closely engaged with both European and U.S. regulators and policy-makers, which means the service may one day make it to North America.