Vay conducts driverless tests of e-car in Hamburg

Tests of new car-sharing system with tele driving technology
15 February 2023
E-Auto von Vay bei einer Testfahrt in Hamburg

The Berlin-based company, Vay, has completed the first test drive of a driverless e-car in Hamburg thanks to an exemption from the Ministry for Transport, a press release said Monday (February 6, 2023). Unlike ordinary car-sharing systems, the remote-controlled vehicle is driven to the desired pick-up location by a tele driver, who takes it over at the end of a trip thereby eliminating the search for a parking space.

Mobility with added value for Hamburg

"Hamburg is pioneering digital and innovative mobility services. We want to deploy them in line with demand precisely where they bring real added value to people," said Anjes Tjarks, Senator for Transport and Mobility Transition. Vay's tele drive, zero-emission service can be booked digitally. An exemption was granted in December to test the service adequately, according to Thomas von der Ohe, CEO of Vay. The company's remote-controlled electric cars have been on roads in Berlin and Hamburg for over three years, he added. Drivers had been on board for security reasons hitherto.

Tele drivers to guarantee safety

A positive expert report by TÜV Süd was among the prerequisites for the exemption as safety remains the top priority. The report confirmed both the functional safety and the cybersecurity of the system. Tele drivers at a digital work station use a screen, headphones, a steering wheel and pedals to operate the vehicles and are responsible for safety. Vay now aims to set up a practical door-to-door service using this technology. More test drives are scheduled in future and Germany could pioneer tele driving technology by legalising the tests, von der Ohe pointed out.