Lots of people have played with toy cars and trucks driven by remote control. Now a German company hopes to take that to the next level by incorporating remote control into a car rental service.
Berlin-based Vay has launched a “commercial driverless mobility service” in the area around the Arts District and UNLV.
Users rent a car through the Vay app, and the vehicle is delivered with the help of a remote driver located in the company’s teledrive center. The customer then drives the car normally.
If the customer wants to make a stop to run errands, that can be arranged through the Vay app. The remotely driven car delivery service runs Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to a Vay service map.
Vay plans to expand this remotely driven delivery service to “most” of the Las Vegas metro area in 2024, said a Vay spokesperson in an emailed statement to the Review-Journal.
The company charges 30 cents per minute when driving and 3 cents a minute for stopovers.
When the customer is finished with the vehicle, Vay drives it remotely to the next user or back to the company.
“After five years of developing our technology, we are bringing our vision to life in Las Vegas,” Vay co-founder and CEO Thomas von der Ohe said in a press release. “Our convenient, affordable and sustainable door-to-door mobility service aims to free cities from parked cars and make them more liveable and greener.”
In July, the company announced that it had opened an office in the Arts District and would use Las Vegas as a launching pad for its U.S. operations.
Currently Vay has about 10 teledrivers based in Las Vegas and the company is actively working on hiring more drivers, said a Vay spokesperson.
Vay is not the first company to test autonomous driving technology in Las Vegas. Cruise, a company backed by General Motors, announced in September that it would start testing autonomous vehicles supervised by humans in Clark County. (The company halted truly driverless operations nationwide in October.)
The Las Vegas-based startup Halo.Car launched a service in July in which customers rent remote-driven cars for use in the downtown area. And in June the Amazon subsidiary Zoox started offering fully autonomous robotaxis in the southwest valley.
Review-Journal reporter Sean Hemmersmeier contributed to this report.
Contact Paul Pearson at email@example.com.