This Smart Driverless Autocycle Is Gearing Up to Revolutionize Urban Transportation

The San Francisco-based startup has designed a three-wheeled autonomous EV 7 photos
Photo: Faction
Three-Wheel AutocycleThree-Wheel AutocycleThree-Wheel AutocycleThree-Wheel AutocycleThree-Wheel AutocycleThree-Wheel Autocycle
Many people see downsizing as a solution for the housing crisis in many regions, and for a sustainable future in general. Could this be true for transportation as well? A San Francisco-based startup believes so. In addition to being electric and autonomous, vehicles should also be smaller and lighter, to completely change urban traffic for the better.
Based on the fact that a whopping percent of urban trips are carried out by a single passenger traveling for about 5 miles, it’s not feasible to think that large vehicles should still play an important part in future transportation. Instead, smaller, smarter vehicles could be better for the communities and for the planet. This is how the “right-size vehicle” concept was born.

Rooted in the Y-Combinator business incubator, Faction is a software startup that wants to design and develop a fleet of “right-size” vehicles from the ground up. The innovative three-wheel autocycle (literally a mix between a car and a motorcycle) will be not only electric and autonomous, but also smaller and lighter than similar vehicles. Designed to be used for urban transportation as well as micro-logistics, this unusual EV would be developed at only a fraction of the cost of regular cars. As a result, the final costs would be less than $300,000 per unit.

The autonomous three-wheeled vehicle is still mysterious, as the company hasn’t yet disclosed too many details about its specifications, but one of its key points seems to be the TeleAssist framework that combines the latest self-driving technology with “supplemental human in the loop supervision.” This is supposed to cut the time that’s typically required to get fully-autonomous vehicles on the road.

A recent investment from Japanese electronic expert TDK Corporation proves that Faction is on the right track with its right-size vehicles of the future. The Faction autocycle (which would be regulated as a motorcycle) is getting ready to steal the spotlight from its ride-sharing and delivery services competitors.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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