Arcimoto, a maker of electric vehicles, has formed a partnership with Faction Technology and GoCar Tours to develop up to 310 driverless electric vehicles, powered by Faction’s DriveLink and TeleAssist technologies and GoCar’s patented GoCar Network technology, which allows users to explore select cities on their own schedule at their own pace.
The partnership calls for an initial 20-vehicle pilot program to begin at GoCar Tours Las Vegas in 2023.
Upon successful completion of the pilot, GoCar will begin a phased deployment of an additional 290 vehicles to GoCar locations in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and San Diego, California, and later in Barcelona, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal.
Jesse Fittipaldi, Arcimoto Interim CEO, says: “This is a thrilling confluence of three cutting-edge technologies that directly aligns with our vision for the future of sustainable transportation.
“By combining the rightsized Arcimoto electric vehicle platform, Faction’s driverless technology, and GoCar’s amazing GPS-guided tours, we’re able to driverlessly deploy EVs to customers where they can then take the controls and drive for themselves.
“This is an amazing idea for the tourism market today, and will be a key next step in our future plans to deploy driverless FUVs for everyday driving down the road.”
GoCar’s patented GoCar Network technology allows users to explore the city on their own schedule at their own pace. The GoCar mobile tour guide, the world’s first GPS-guided tour, will give directions, crack jokes, recommend restaurants, and tell the legendary stories that bring each city to life.
Nathan Withrington, founder of GoCar Tours, says: “This is an incredible innovation on so many levels, dramatically improving our customer rental experience while driving down the cost of fleet operations.
“I love that a customer will be able to reserve a GoCar, it will driverlessly arrive at their location, they get in and take the controls, getting the same award-winning GoCar experience, stopping wherever they like when they like. And then, when they head back to their hotels, the Arcimoto will driverlessly return to GoCar. It’s magic.”
Faction’s DriveLink and TeleAssist technologies will enable GoCar EVs to combine autonomy with remote human teleoperation. Faction’s technology architecture is designed with driverless systems in mind, which allows it to incorporate new technology radically faster than legacy vehicle platforms.
It partners with innovative companies to develop sophisticated teleoperation abilities, precise vehicle positioning, hazard recognition, and vehicle design to accommodate the 90 percent of urban trips that consist of one passenger traveling a few miles.
Ain McKendrick, Faction CEO, says: “This is an exciting use case for Faction’s driverless technology, bringing customers a world-class tourism and driving experience right to their doorsteps.
“Exploring a new city at your own pace with your friends in a fleet of FUVs is far more enticing than any oversized, gas-powered tour bus will ever be, with the added convenience that customers won’t have to wait in lines to pick up or return the vehicle. That’s where Faction has you covered.”
The letter of intent is an expression of interest and is not intended to and does not create a legally binding obligation on the part of any party. Any legally binding obligations beyond this will be set forth in definitive agreements executed between the parties.