Volkswagen Self-Driving Electric Cars to Roll Down Israeli Streets from 2019

For a couple of years now, several American cities have become accustomed to living in the same space with more or less advanced self-driving cars. Not the same can be said about Europe and its neighboring regions, where the testing of autonomous vehicles is usually done in closed environments.
VW self driving cars to be tested is Israel 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
That is about to change, as Israel will become starting next year the bridgehead from which Europe will be invaded by this types of vehicles.

Earlier this week, Volkswagen announced it will begin testing self-driving cars on the road as soon as 2019 in the Middle East country, part of a partnership it signed with Intel’s Mobileye and Champion Motors.

The three will set up a joint venture which will operate under the name New Mobility in Israel with the goal of launching the country’s first autonomous electric vehicle ride-hailing service.

Volkswagen will be tasked with supplying a yet undisclosed number of electric vehicles, Mobileye will fit them with its driverless solution - hardware, driving policy, safety software and map data – while Champion will handle fleet operations.

The carmaker did not give any details about how long the testing phase of the project will last but did say that Israel is the place where it will test the technology before rolling it out globally. Large-scale implementation of the self-driving Volkswagen cars is scheduled for 2022.

“We firmly believe that self-driving electric vehicles will offer Israel and cities around the world safe, clean and emission-free mobility, which is accessible and convenient,” said in a statement Volkswagen’s CEO Herbert Diess.

“We are looking forward to this partnership with our local partners Mobileye and Champion Motors from Israel.”

The Germans did not say which cars they will use for the project, but in the current lineup, there aren’t so many choices available, as only the electric variant of the Golf and up! are suitable for use in a car-sharing project.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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