The Volkswagen Group, Intel’s Mobileye and Champion Motors on Monday announced plans to deploy Israel’s first self-driving ride hailing service in 2019.
The partners are planning to establish a joint venture. The planned cooperation is subject to approval by the responsible authorities and bodies. Operating as "New Mobility in Israel," the group’s proposal was formally accepted by the Israeli government during a private ceremony today at the Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv.
The Volkswagen Group will provide the electric vehicles (EVs) and bring in its knowledge about design and deployment of user-centered mobility services. Mobileye will provide its level-4 AV Kit – a turn-key, driverless solution comprised of hardware, driving policy, safety software and map data. Champion Motors will run the fleet operations and control center.
The government of Israel has committed to support the project in three main areas: furnishing legal and regulatory support, sharing the required infrastructure and traffic data, and providing access to infrastructure as needed. While New Mobility in Israel will be Israel’s first commercial MaaS service with self-driving vehicles, all facilitations and rulings will be applied to all other ventures that wish to operate a MaaS in Israel.
Volkswagen, Mobileye and Champion Motors will use New Mobility in Israel to serve as a global beta site for testing the Mobility-as-a-Service model using autonomous electric vehicles. The project will start in early 2019 and scale to commercialization by 2022. New Mobility in Israel will roll out in phases and grow quickly from several dozen to hundreds of self-driving electric vehicles.
Automakers are teaming up with tech companies to gain a head start in driverless technology, which is expected to upend the transportation industry.
Honda Motor announced an investment of $2.75 billion in General Motors’s Cruise self-driving vehicle unit, to jointly develop autonomous vehicles for deployment in ride services fleets around the world.