San Carlos, CA (January 14, 2019) – On January 8 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, WHILL, Inc. introduced the future of last-mile transportation—the WHILL Autonomous Drive System (ADS), and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) business—to thousands of media and attendees who were amongst the very first to experience the Autonomous Drive System, a CES 2019 Best of Innovation award winner and Engadget Best of CES 2019 finalist.
WHILL’s booth featured their popular urban terrain obstacle courses—debuted at CES 2017—on the outer perimeter, and the center obstacle course highlighted the new Autonomous Drive personal electric vehicles (EV).
Attendees lined up to experience WHILL’s vision for the future of last-mile transportation. One-by-one, participants summoned an autonomous EV through an app to pick them up; A scenario similar to using an Autonomous Drive EV in an airport to efficiently go from check-in to gate. Once on the autonomous EV, participants tested its auto-stop functionality, avoiding collisions with objects in front, behind and on either side of the EV, demonstrating easy and safe operation even for first-time users.
In a previous press release, WHILL stated they are initially focused on implementing their Autonomous Drive System in airports to address the significant inefficiencies of the current Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) services, to greatly reduce operating expenses for facilities’ management companies and others. WHILL’s revolutionary MaaS platform is expected to return independence to customers who request assistance, allowing them to freely move throughout the airport. In turn, the autonomous service will create better customer experience, increase the desire to travel and potentially increase purchases at stores within airports.
Currently, WHILL is pursuing partnerships with major airports around the globe, including Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands), Heathrow Airport (UK), and LaGuardia Airport (USA).
In the future, WHILL looks to scale into other large venues, including theme parks and hospitals, ultimately moving onto sidewalks as a last-mile transportation solution, utilized similarly to current public transportation options—buses, taxis and ridesharing services like Uber. Their vision is to provide a service for all, including seniors and people who have difficulty walking, seamlessly connecting and moving people from point A to B.
To learn more about WHILL’s Autonomous Drive System and MaaS business, visit their website.
Since its founding in 2012, WHILL’s mission is to transform today’s antiquated power wheelchair and scooter experiences into a new kind of empowering devices, intelligent personal electric vehicles (EVs). WHILL is reinventing the personal mobility industry with personal EVs that focus on an approachable and aesthetically pleasing powered vehicles that boosts confidence and pushes the boundaries of personal transportation. Headquartered in Yokohama, Japan with offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taiwan and EU, WHILL is focused on enabling everyone to explore the world in comfort and style.