Voyage Partners with Enterprise & Velodyne to Scale its Driverless Taxi Fleet
【Summary】Voyage, a Silicon Valley startup working on a driverless taxi service, has announced a partnership with car rental company Enterprise, to scale a new fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans for its robo taxi service it plans to roll out in communities across the U.S.
Voyage, a Silicon Valley startup working on a driverless taxi service, has announced a partnership with car rental company Enterprise, to scale a new fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans for its robo taxi service it plans to roll out in communities across the U.S. In addition, Voyage's new minivans will be equipped with Velodyne's latest VLS-128 solid state LiDAR.
Voyage will modify the fleet of Chrysler Pacifica vehicles it leases from Enterprise to become autonomous driving taxis. Enterprise Fleet Management, an affiliate of Enterprise Holdings Inc. Enterprise is the world's largest car rental company. Enterprise will also maintain the fleet of autonomous minivans.
"We are excited to provide vehicles to support the expansion of Voyage's operations. Like Enterprise, Voyage understands that world-class fleet management is fundamental to the long-term success of autonomous fleets. Our partnership ensures that the Voyage team is able to focus on what they do best – developing autonomous technology and providing transportation services to community residents – without having to worry about acquiring and maintaining those vehicles," says Brice Adamson of Enterprise Fleet Management.
In the partnership with Voyage, Velodyne is supplying its latest product, the VLS-128, which Voyage will incorporate as part of the suite of autonomous sensors and software. Voyage has designed a custom ‘sense-surround' configuration for 360-degree monitoring using lidar supplied by San Jose-based Velodyne.
The VLS-128 provides a detailed 3D view of the world in 360 degrees
Velodyne is a well known manufacturer of lidar systems. Founded in 1983, the company supplied the lidar that helped jump start Google's self-driving car development. The VLS-128 is the company's most advanced lidar sensor. It has a range of up to 300 meters and can collect 9.6 million data points per second for superior accuracy.
"Velodyne is energized by Voyage's compelling mission to help communities in North America by putting people first. We are pleased to support their advanced autonomous vehicle program with our newest product, the VLS-128. The public and their safety deserve nothing less: a product with lessons learned from millions of miles and 10 years of LiDAR development. The VLS-128 provides the range, resolution and accuracy required by the most advanced vehicle programs in the world. We can't wait to see where Voyage takes our VLS-128," says Cesar Alejandro Montero, Marketing Director at Velodyne LiDAR.
Voyage's mission is to serve communities with autonomous vehicles. The company's driverless taxi service is currently being testing in retirement communities in San Jose, California and Florida.
With roughly 160,000 residents, The Village retirement community in Florida is the largest retirement community in the state. Voyage is currently providing its driverless taxi service to senior residents of the community, a group with the most need for mobility solutions.
Enterprise is not the first car rental company supplying vehicles to tech companies. Last June, Avis Budget Group announced a partnership with Waymo. Avis will be storing, servicing and maintaining Waymo's growing fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans, the same model Voyage is using for its own service.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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