Purpose-built, fully electric, autonomous movers are expected on public roadways in the U.S. starting in 2024.
Benteler EV Systems, Beep Inc., and Mobileye, an Intel Company, announced a strategic collaboration to develop and deploy automotive-grade, fully electric, autonomous movers in public and private communities across North America. Aimed at first- and last-mile use cases in urban areas, the shuttles are due to begin production deployments in the United States in 2024.
The collaboration between Benteler EV Systems, Beep and Mobileye will facilitate the development and deployment of a fully autonomous (SAE Level 4) electric mover for the U.S. designed to meet automotive industry and safety standards for public road use. The purpose-built autonomous mover from Benteler EV Systems will be underpinned by Mobileye’s industry leading self-driving system, Mobileye Drive™, and supported by Beep’s proven deployment and operations systems, technology and services.
“Multipassenger micro-transit needs are ever-increasing in our cities and towns globally and must be addressed in order to reduce road congestion, protect the environment and provide safe, reliable mobility for all to access,” explained Hinrich Woebcken, advisory board member for Beep and former CEO of Volkswagen North America. “Bringing to market an affordable, automotive-grade, electric, autonomous mover is a solution that will transform mobility as we know it today.”
The trio can draw upon years of experience in important aspects of autonomous solutions – Beep in the operations of micro-transit and mobility solutions, Benteler EV Systems in the design and manufacturing of automotive solutions and safety systems, and Mobileye in the delivery of automated driving solutions.
Collaboration Taps into Cross-Industry Experience
Benteler EV Systems, a Benteler company and undisputed expert in full system technology for electric vehicles, is well known for its scalable and modular platform for electric vehicles, the Benteler Electric Drive System. Offering first-class engineering, excellent vehicle integration and global manufacturing expertise, Benteler EV Systems will develop an autonomous mover and integrate all individual subsystems into the final vehicle. This includes the industrialization and production of the mover. Production will take place in the U.S., with the ambition to roll out the mover to other countries helping deliver the mobility of the future.
“Autonomous movers are the solution for future public transportation, solving the mobility challenges of increasing urbanization and emissions,” said Marco Kollmeier, managing director of Benteler EV Systems GmbH. “These movers need to be robust for 24/7 public or commercial use, at optimized costs and with excellent riding comfort. Consequently, we decided to go for this strategic collaboration with our partners Mobileye and Beep, to build autonomous movers delivering exactly against these market demands. Another example of how we make the mobility of tomorrow lighter, safer and more sustainable.”
Mobileye is a market leader in autonomous driving solutions, having shipped more than 100 million of its leading computer vision solutions for the established driving-assistance market. With one of the most widely dispersed autonomous fleet in the world, operating in Israel, Germany, Japan, China, France and the U.S., Mobileye is proving daily the capabilities of its Mobileye Drive self-driving system.
“The full benefits of autonomy can only be reached with scale. Working with Beep and Benteler, Mobileye aims to mass-produce first- and last-mile self-driving mobility solutions that will enable the convenient, accessible and safe movement of people across North America,” said Johann Jungwirth, vice president of Mobility-as-a-Service at Mobileye.
Beep enjoys a leadership position in the U.S., having successfully tested autonomous electric shuttles in many public road projects for tens of thousands of riders over tens of thousands of road miles in 2021 alone. The company’s service and technology are estimated to have prevented many cubic tons of carbon emissions by replacing fossil fuel-based transit services with cleaner electric vehicles. Beep has worked closely with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of its autonomous vehicle test programs and is applying those years of learning to assist in the design of the new platform with an emphasis on safety.
“Beep’s well-established U.S. footprint for our autonomous mobility operations model, which incorporates machine learning, contextual route intelligence and Beep’s existing centralized command center platform, combine with Benteler’s and Mobileye’s manufacturing expertise to make this the first alignment of all capabilities needed to successfully scale the deployment of this important transformation in passenger mobility,” said Joe Moye, CEO of Beep.