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Electric and self-driving ride hailing, another step towards the future

15.11.2018
Electric and self-driving ride hailing, another step towards the future

The project that the Volkswagen Group is developing with Mobileye and Champions Motors combines the most innovative and revolutionary trends in the automotive industry.

The Volkswagen Group, Mobileye (an Intel Company) and Champion Motors have made a deal to start a joint venture with the aim of developing the first self-driving ride hailing service in Israel, starting next year. The project is called “New Mobility in Israel” and the authorized vehicles will be 100% electric. The idea is to allow the users to book and use a car that can take them from place to place - in a sustainable way and without the need for a driver. The Volkswagen Group will deploy all its expertise concerning mobility services and electric vehicles, Mobileye will provide technical support for autonomous driving and Champions Motors will run the fleet operations and control centre. The aim of the three companies is to develop and expand a mobility platform, adding more services and contents, ensuring a seamless rider experience.

Five levels for autonomous driving

Besides the technical challenges, legal matters are a key aspect of autonomous driving. The way for completely autonomous vehicles includes five levels: driver assistance, partial automation, conditional automation, high automation and, finally, full automation. The Volkswagen Group, Mobileye and Champions Motors are planningto bring on the road level 4 vehicles: that means that all driving tasks will be executed by technical systems, which will be able to manage complex situations without the driver’s assistance. 

To achieve this result, an adequate legal context is obviously needed. The government of Israel has committed itself to the project providing legal and regulatory support, sharing the required infrastructure and traffic data, and providing access to infrastructure as needed.  A reality which is open to innovation - as opposed to Germany, for example, where circulation is permitted only up to level 3 vehicles - and which allows the drivers to get “distracted” by traffic until the system’s warnings force them to get behind the wheel again.

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An innovative business

For the Volkswagen Group and its partners, the project “New Mobility in Israel” will be an important test to develop an innovative business model to be then promoted elsewhere. The operations are set to start early 2019 and by 2022 the first vehicles will start circulating on the roads of Israel. The fleet of self-driving electric cars will initially include only a few dozen units, but it will rapidly grow up to several hundreds. This initiative combines the most innovative and revolutionary trends of the automotive industry: autonomous driving, electric and on-demand mobility.

SourceVolkswagen AG

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