Volkswagen Group, Mobileye and Champion Motors have announced plans to commercialise Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) with self-driving electric vehicles in Israel.

Volkswagen Group will provide the electric vehicles (EVs) as well as its knowledge about mobility services. Mobileye, an Intel Company, will provide a 'full turn-key hardware and software self-driving system'. Champion Motors will be responsible for fleet logistics and infrastructure of the Mobility-as-a-Service deployment.

The Israeli government supports the project proposal of the three partner companies.

Development will begin in early 2019 and roll out in phases reaching full commercialization in 2022.

The partners are planning to establish a joint venture. The planned cooperation is subject to approval by the responsible authorities and bodies. Operating as "New Mobility in Israel," the group's proposal was formally accepted by the Israeli government during a private ceremony at the Smart Mobility Summit 2018 in Tel Aviv.

VW said it will provide the electric vehicles (EVs) and bring in its in-depth knowledge and competency about 'design and deployment of user-centred mobility services'.

The government of Israel has committed to support the project in three main areas: furnishing legal and regulatory support, sharing the required infrastructure and traffic data, and providing access to infrastructure as needed. While "New Mobility in Israel" will be Israel's first commercial Mobility-as-a-Service with self-driving vehicles, all facilitations and rulings will be applied to all other ventures that wish to operate a Mobility-as-a-Service in Israel.

Volkswagen, Mobileye and Champion Motors also said they will use "New Mobility in Israel" to serve as a global beta site for testing and introducing the Mobility-as-a-Service model using autonomous electric vehicles.

"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. We are looking for-ward to this partnership with our local partners Mobileye and Champion Motors from Israel," said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group.

"We are delighted to embark on a joint venture with a world-leading automotive OEM, aimed at delivering a transformational mobility service," said Professor Amnon Shashua, Mobileye CEO and senior vice president at Intel. "Our service aims to intelligently and dynamically adapt to the urban mobility needs of the 21st Century, catering to the mobility-mileage demands within the city while minimizing the direct/indirect incurred societal costs – air/noise pollution, congestion and safety."

"Champion Motors is investing in autotech and smart mobility in order to continue providing the Israeli customers with the best and most advanced products and services in this area," said Professor Itzhak Swary, chairman of the board of directors at Champion Motors. "We are proud to partner with Volkswagen and strengthen our collaboration through this pioneering project, which positions Israel at the spearhead of innovation."

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more