Ferngesteuert aus der Telefahrzentrale fährt das vollelektrische Auto von Vay durch Hamburg. Foto: Vay

Vay: Remote controlled e-Taxi in Hamburg

What sounds like a dream of the future has become reality in Hamburg since February: In the Hanseatic city, cars have recently been allowed to drive on public roads without a driver. Remotely controlled from the teledriving center, the all-electric car, a Kia Niro, from Vay drives through Hamburg. For the first time in European road traffic without a safety driver in the car. The full control of the vehicle lies with teledrivers. These sit at a teledriving station with car steering wheel and pedals – developed according to automotive industry standards. The route includes a predefined area where tele-driving test drives without safety drivers will be conducted from now on.

For Vays CEO and co-founder Thomas von der Ohe, this first drive in February this year was a major milestone: “As a leading teledriving company, we have been driving remote-controlled electric cars on public roads in Berlin and Hamburg for more than three years. With the exemption permit we have had since December 2022, we have now been able to successfully drive the first car without a safety driver on a public road. This is a huge success for our entire team, but also for Hamburg and Europe. In the context of legally enabling new technologies, this is a significant step. Germany can take the global lead in teledriving technology.”

Sustainable and affordable door-to-door service

Vay is working on a door-to-door service where customers order an electric vehicle via app. What’s unique about it is that a teledriver brings the car directly to the customer – remotely controlled from the teledriving center in Hamburg. There, the drivers sit at a teledriving station with all the necessary controls. They have an overview of the traffic situation via several screens and headphones. Once the customers have arrived at their destination, a teledriver takes over the vehicle again. The time-consuming search for a parking space is eliminated. In terms of cost, the service is intended to be similar to car-sharing services and, in the long term, a convenient alternative to private cars.

“With our service using electrically powered cars, fewer vehicles can transport more people. This leaves more space for life in cities,” says Thomas von der Ohe. High costs for mobility are to be reduced, while road safety is to be increased. Vay wants to help minimize the four main causes of fatal accidents in inner cities through tele-driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, distraction and fatigue.

Vay is a deep-tech company based in Europe and the United States. It recently closed a $95 million Series B funding round, making it one of the most highly funded self-driving car startups in Europe. Investors include Kinnevik, Coatue, Eurazeo, Atomico, La Famiglia and Creandum. www.vay.io

This and other articles on the topic of Mobility 4.0 electric-networked-autonomous can be found in the current eMove360° magazine. Order free download PDF or print version at sabine.metzger@emove360.com

05.04.2023   |  

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