Mobileye and WILLER announced a strategic collaboration to launch an autonomous robotaxi service in Japan and markets across Southeast Asia, including Taiwan. Beginning in Japan, the companies will collaborate on the testing and deployment of autonomous transportation solutions based on Mobileye’s automated vehicle (AV) technology.
“Our new collaboration with WILLER brings a meaningful addition to Mobileye’s growing global network of transit and mobility ecosystem partners,” said Prof. Amnon Shashua, Intel senior vice president and president and CEO of Mobileye. “We look forward to collaborating with WILLER as we work together for new mobility in the region by bringing self-driving mobility services to Japan, Taiwan and ASEAN markets.”
“Collaboration with Mobileye is highly valuable for WILLER and a big step moving forward to realize our vision of innovating transportation services: travel anytime and anywhere by anybody,” said Shigetaka Murase, founder and CEO of WILLER. “Innovation of transportation will lead to a smarter, safer and more sustainable society where people enjoy higher quality of life.”
Together, Mobileye and WILLER are seeking to commercialize self-driving taxis and autonomous on-demand shared shuttles in Japan, while leveraging each other’s strengths. Mobileye will supply autonomous vehicles integrating its self-driving system and WILLER will offer services adjusted to each region and user tastes, ensure regulatory framework, and provide mobility services and solutions for fleet operation companies.
The two companies aim to begin testing robotaxis on public roads in Japan in 2021, with plans to launch fully self-driving ride-hailing and ride-sharing mobility services in 2023, while exploring opportunities for similar services in Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets.
For Mobileye, the collaboration with WILLER advances the company’s global mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) ambitions. Since announcing its intention to become a complete mobility provider, Mobileye has begun a series of collaborations with cities, transportation agencies and mobility technology companies to develop and deploy self-driving mobility solutions in key markets. The agreement with WILLER builds on Mobileye’s existing MaaS partnerships. Examples include the agreement with Daegu Metropolitan City, South Korea, to deploy robotaxis based on Mobileye’s self-driving system, and the joint venture with Volkswagen and Champion Motors to operate an autonomous ride-hailing fleet in Israel. The collaboration with WILLER greatly expands and strengthens the company’s global MaaS ambition.
WILLER aims to unify user experiences across countries in the region; it released a MaaS app in 2019 and enabled a QR-code-based payment system this year. WILLER has partnered with Kuo-Kuang Motor Transportation, the largest bus operator in Taiwan, and Mai Linh, the largest taxi company in Vietnam, as well as invested in Car Club, a car-sharing service provider in Singapore. WILLER also partners with 150 local transportation providers in Japan. On top of these partnerships, WILLER will provide self-driving ride-hailing and ride-sharing services in the region and provide the best customer-ride experiences together with Mobileye.
The collaboration between WILLER and Mobileye will add a new transportation mode to the existing range of transportation services, including highway buses, railways and car-sharing. Adding self-driving vehicles, on-demand features and sharing services will improve customer ride experiences and address social challenges such as traffic accidents, congestion and, especially, the shortage of drivers and the challenges resulting from Japan’s aging society. Together Mobileye and WILLER will accelerate the social benefits of self-driving transportation solutions that contribute to higher quality of daily lives, making society smarter, safer and more sustainable.