Vay's remote, rental car service launched in Las Vegas

Vay makes its remote-driven rental service accessible only around University of Nevada Las Vegas and city's arts district
The image shows a Vay vehicle. — Vay
The image shows a Vay vehicle. — Vay

A German rental car service Vay has launched and made its electric, remote-driven vehicles operational in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Vay remotely offers a rental car service in which a "teledriver", or a remote driver transports the vehicle to the customer and then calls the vehicle back after the decided duration completes.

Not only is the service offering rental cars , but the users also get a remote driver who remotely controls the vehicle and carries renters throughout the duration purchased by someone.

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During the first quarter of ongoing year, the number of vehicles available for the service should be in "low double digits," company CEO, Thomas von der Ohe, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, the remote-driving start-up has only made the service accessible only in the areas around the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the city's arts district.

However, having raised about $110 million from investors including Sweden's Kinnevik, opens new tab, Coatue and France's Eurazeo, the companu aims to further expands its remote rental car service to other states as well.

With no one behind the wheels, the service has been tested on roads of Europe and the United States in a fully autonomous manner.

"We see a decade or two of human-machine interaction where autonomous driving will play a part once it's available and ready to deploy, and then the other part will always be done by a teledriver," he said.

Vay's vehicles have been induced with cameras that will over time help the vehicles learn and adapt more intricate features commonly offered with other autonomous vehicles. This camera-based technology costs way cheaper than the lidar and radar technologies typically deployed in electric cars.

Vay envisions a "massive use case" for remote driving functions and is talking to automakers about including functions for remote valet and other services.

"If every vehicle drives off the production line equipped with teledriving... you can have an on-demand tele-valet that parks your car for you," said von der Ohe, "and then teledrives you home in your own car if you have a few glasses to drink."