German mobility startup Vay says it has raised $95 million from investors such as Kinnevik, Coatue and Eurazeo, as it plans to launch its first car-rental service in Hamburg next year.
Customers will be able to use a mobile app to book an electric car that will be delivered to the pick-up location by a driver steering the vehicle remotely. The customer will then drive the car normally and the remote operator will move to steering a different vehicle.
While lots of companies are testing driverless cars using expensive sensors, Vay uses an array of cameras and other features that make it cheaper to aid a person to remotely drive a car.
The service would be cheaper for the customers than ride-hailing services and will be the stepping stone for Vay to slowly introduce fully autonomous features, co-founder and CEO Thomas von der Ohe said.