Volkswagen launching autonomous ride-hailing service

Mobileye and Champion Motors have teamed up with the German giant to deploy an autonomous ride-hailing service in Israel next year.

Volkswagen will launch an autonomous, electric ride-hailing service in 2019, as part of a partnership with Mobileye and Champion Motors in Israel.

The pure-electric cars will come from Volkswagen, a plug-and-play Level 4 autonomous kit is being supplied by Mobileye, and Champion Motors will manage the fleet control centre. Although the project launching next year is only a trial, the goal is to commercialise it by 2022.

There’s no word on what those electric vehicles will be, but Volkswagen is currently developing a couple of potentially suitable vehicles. Along with its upcoming range of ID electric cars, the wider Volkswagen Group is collaborating on the SEDRIC ride-sharing vehicle (below). Look at that face, folks.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Government will back the project with regulatory and legal support as part of the “New Mobility in Israel” program. Much like the VW trial, the ‘New Mobility’ program is in its infancy, with plans to start with “several dozen” autonomous vehicles on the roads and expand to “hundreds” over time.

“We firmly believe that self-driving electric vehicles will offer Israel and cities around the world safe, clean and emission-free mobility, which is accessible and convenient,” said Herbert Diess, Volkswagen Group CEO.

“We are looking forward to this partnership with our local partners Mobileye and Champion Motors from Israel.”