According to a report in the German daily Handelsblatt, the Berlin-based startup Vay has been steering a fleet of cars through the city via teleoperation for two years now. The company’s founders have so far been in stealth mode and have now given their first interview.
Instead of developing autonomous driving, the company focuses on remote control of vehicles. Users can order a car via app, it drives up remotely, users can take over the car and operate and drive it like a normal car. Once users arrive at their destination, they can simply exit the car and a Vay teleoperator takes over and delivers the vehicle to the next customer.
Only in the next steps will autonomous driving technologies be developed and integrated, according to the founders. Other autonomous vehicle startups are also working with teleoperation. This is intended to help vehicles maneuver out of very tricky traffic situations and thus gradually incorporate these scenarios into the technology. It is quite clear that teleoperation is seen by these companies primarily as a transitional technology for exceptional scenarios and will be completely replaced by it in a few years as autonomous driving technology improves.
Here is a video from the company:
This article was also published in German.