Intel announced it will be launching an autonomous shuttle service in the US starting from 2024, with the goal of expanding its use in the future. The project is being developed in collaboration with Beep, Benteler EV, and Mobileye, aiming on addressing the “micro-transit” inequities in first-mile and last-mile use. This means helping deal with traffic congestion while increasing road safety, and mobility access.
The shuttles will be fully electric, capable of offering Level 4 autonomy while complying with all automotive industry and safety standards for public road use. From the official sketches/renderings previewing the vehicles, we can see bus-like proportions with large glass areas, twelve seats, sliding doors, and LED lighting.
Benteler EV is responsible for developing and producing the vehicles, based on its own scalable and modular EV-dedicated platform. They will integrate the Mobileye Drive autonomous driving technology and utilize Beep’s autonomous mobility operations model that includes machine learning, contextual route intelligence, and a centralized command center platform.
According to Marco Kollmeier, managing director of Benteler EV Systems GmbH, the shuttles will be robust for 24/7 public or commercial use while offering excellent riding comfort. Hinrich Woebcken, former CEO of VW North America and Beep’s advisory board member, described the vehicle as an “affordable, automotive-grade, electric, autonomous mover”. Johann Jungwirth, vice president of Mobility-as-a-Service at Mobileye, added that the aim of the project is to “mass-produce first-mile and last-mile self-driving mobility solutions” offering “convenient, accessible, and safe movement”.
The shuttles will be produced in the US. Initially, the service will roll out in public and private communities across North America, but an expansion to other countries is planned for the future.