Driverless cars to arrive on European streets next year

From next year, you’ll be able to ride in a driverless car in Europe. It won’t be driven by a lidar-equipped computer, however, but piloted remotely by a human ‘teledriver’ sitting in a control room somewhere distant.

This, at least, is the vision of Vay, a Berlin-based startup that is today emerging from stealth mode to unveil its plans for the future of mobility.

Its concept is a way of getting at least some of the benefits of autonomous vehicles out to customers faster, says Thomas von der Ohe, cofounder and CEO.

Vay hasn’t yet revealed which city it will roll out the service in first — but says it has been working with regulators in multiple cities, and is “super close” to receiving the necessary permissions to roll out a fully-remote fleet. It’s been testing the technology for two years on Berlin streets, with safety drivers still present in the cars.