Waymo isn’t the only self-driving company with on-demand autonomous car service news today: Dutch startup Amber Mobility, which designed a new vehicle specifically for shared commuter use, is putting a firm timeline on its plans to add self-driving capabilities to its fleet.
Amber will provide self-driving vehicles for users with its business-to-business car sharing platform in Eindhoven in the Netherlands by midyear 2018, the company says, with a goal of expanding deployment rapidly from that to its other Dutch markets, including Helmond, and then to the rest of Europe after that.
Amber Mobility is a very young company, which revealed its Amber One car design last year and business model. The company is starting out with standard electric vehicles and testing among a small group of corporate clients, however, and the autonomous features will be rolled out first with that first beta pool.
The young company has some big competition, as mentioned – Waymo is piloting its own self-driving service in Phoenix, with applications open to all residents to sign up to ride as of this morning.
Amber has strong partners, however, including support from local government, TomTom for maps, Nvidia for image and sensor data processing, and Microsoft for use of Azure and AI software. The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) is also participating, lending its big brains to help fill in the autonomous vehicle software part of the picture.