NEVS and AutoX want robotaxis littering the European landscape by the end of 2020
The vehicle they'll use will be based off NEVS' InMotion concept from 2017.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
NEVS, which in 2012 became the urn holding the ashes of
, has been working on its own vision of our autonomous future, releasing a clever concept to that end at
Asia in 2017. AutoX is a startup focused on delivering an autonomous vehicle platform. Together, the two hope to take Europe by storm with robotaxis, according to their latest announcement.
NEVS and AutoX announced this week that the two have entered into a strategic partnership. Together, the companies intend to create a large-scale robotaxi pilot in Europe by the end of 2020. The vehicle's design will be based on the NEVS InMotion concept, and it will use AutoX's Autonomous Drive platform.
Testing is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2019, which means the two will have to act fast if they want to meet their goal of getting those cars on European public roads a year from then. It's unclear how much work lies between this point and that point.
As with many other robotaxi-based ideas of autonomy, NEVS and AutoX hope that their work can produce better living through the reduction of traffic. These vehicles would ideally be in use almost all the time, reducing the number of vehicles needed on the road. Using an electric powertrain would remove exhaust emissions from the equation, too.
Perhaps most interesting is how AutoX's CEO describes the company's autonomous-vehicle platform. "AutoX enables companies like NEVS to become autonomous by creating an AI driver which is tailored to the specific geolocation it is in; adopting local driving styles, while also navigating in urban and dynamic conditions," Jianxiong Xiao, the company's founder and CEO, said in a statement.
While we have no way to suss out if that's true, AutoX wouldn't be the first company to take less of a safety-oriented approach to autonomous driving. We experienced something similar with Mobileye's system, called Responsibility-Sensitive Safety. It basically acts more human than other AV systems, coding a bit of aggression into its hardware to better navigate among human drivers, who tend to drive with just a bit more gusto than your average computer.
NEVS InMotion concept previews a future filled with work