The Volkswagen Group, Mobileye, an Intel Company, and Champion Motors announced plans to deploy Israel’s first self-driving ride hailing service – or Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) – starting next year. For this, 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 in-depth knowledge and competency 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. Together, the three companies will add the mobility platform and services, content and other MaaS tools, ensuring a seamless rider experience in the deployment of a full-stack MaaS offering.
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.
This initiative harnesses the disruptive power of several trends in the automotive industry: autonomous vehicle platforms changing the way we control vehicles, electric vehicles changing how we power vehicles, and Mobility-as-a-Service changing how we access mobility.