The autonomous car, that idea that leaders like Elon Musk have been promising since 2017 and that never came, seems to be beginning to materialize in Europe. For the first time, a car without a driver or passengers has driven on a European highway. The person responsible for this feat has been Vaya German company.
According to publish The Next Web, Vay uses a method called teledriving, which consists of telematically directing cars from locations located kilometers away. Operators steer the vehicles with steering wheels, pedals and displays. In addition, they receive traffic sounds through microphones and headphones.
Seen from the outside, it looks like they are playing a video game, only these cars drive on real roads and their actions are real. Data transmission is done through mobile networks. In case of network failure or an emergency occurs, the vehicle stops automatically.
Vay tested the technology without safety drivers after receiving an exemption permit from Hamburg. The company has stated that it has successfully completed the first driving tests in the city on predefined routes.
“As a leading company in teledrivingwe have been driving remote-controlled electric cars on public roads in Berlin and Hamburg for more than 3 years,” explains Vay CEO and co-founder Thomas von der Ohe in a statement.
“With the waiver permission received in December 2022we have now been able to successfully drive the first car without a safety driver on a public road,” he adds.
The company’s plan is to operate as a robotaxis in 2 different ways. On the one hand, like a door-to-door mobility service. In other words, the user requests the car and it, by remote control, will go only to the collection point. Once there, the driver will get behind the wheel and drive to their destination, at which point the remote operator will once again take control.
On the other hand, the second service consists of drive a car remotely while the user is sitting behind.
Vay argues that the teledriving it will be safer for passengers and more comfortable for drivers, while reducing the number of private cars. The objective of these services is to compete with the current providers of car sharing and taxi services. Although from Germany they believe that there may be more benefits.
“Vay creates great added value with its service teledrive: no need to look for a parking space, zero emissions, with the possibility of digital booking and as a practical service, for example, for the “last mile” from the bus or train station to the front door”, says Anjes Tjarks, Hamburg senator from Transportation and Mobility Transition.
All the data that Vay has collected in these tests will also be used to improve and develop autonomous driving functions. Given the current brake on autonomous cars, many voices indicate that the teledriving It may be the push they needed.