HANNOVER, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eindhoven, Netherlands, will be the first city in the world to implement self-driving cars for large-scale commercial use. Steven Nelemans, CEO at Amber, made the announcement this week at the Hannover Messe, in Germany.
Together with several development partners including TomTom, KPN, TNO, NVIDIA, Microsoft, and the local Dutch municipalities of Eindhoven and Helmond, Amber plans to equip electric cars currently used in their business-to-business mobility service with automated driving capabilities. Amber plans to have the self-driving cars on the road in Eindhoven by mid-2018, expanding the service rapidly from there to the rest of the Netherlands and Europe. Companies in the Eindhoven region already using the Amber service will be the first to benefit from this new technology.
In the project, TomTom will act as the map service provider, and KPN will provide the network necessary for location determination and data communication. TNO will take care of the implementation of the vehicle automation software and testing of the sensors and cameras. Daan de Cloe, Program Director Mobility and Logistics at TNO: “We’re looking forward to seeing our software implemented in the automated vehicles of Amber Mobility and to speeding up the realization of their use case.”
The municipalities of Eindhoven and Helmond also play an important role. Eindhoven mayor John Jorritsma comments: “It’s only natural that we would support Amber to be the first to implement self-driving vehicles. By doing so we are reinforcing the Eindhoven Brainport region’s position as a leading center for high-tech innovation.”
Amber and automated driving
Amber is an Eindhoven-based startup that has recently drawn international attention for the development of its own modular, autonomous, and customizable electric car designed specifically to be shared. Through their car sharing service called Amber Mobility, Amber plans to offer both business and private users across Europe on-demand access to a car at all times and within walking distance, for just 33 euro per week.
“Autonomous driving is crucial for the future of mobility,” explains Amber CEO Steven Nelemans. “If we want to be able to offer a mobility service that’s more efficient, convenient, and affordable than car ownership itself, we need autonomous cars in order to make sure that people have access to mobility at all times.”