The Benteler brand Holon presented its driverless shuttle for the first time at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. It features design by Pininfarina and sees Beep and Mobileye as development partners. The vehicle is claimed to be “the world’s first autonomous mover built to automotive standards”. The Holon mover operates autonomously and with a maximum speed of 60 km/h (37mph). It has a range of about 290 kilometers, manufacturer says.
Benteler announced it was establishing a new brand identity under the name of Holon in late 2022. The Benteler EV Systems business unit, which was spun off at the end of 2021, changed its name consequently.
Production of the Holon mover is scheduled to start in the U.S. at the end of 2025, with additional production capacity to be built in Europe and the Middle East/Asia in the following years. Cargo applications are also in the spotlight for the future.
Holon mover, autonomous driving at CES 2023
The scalability of the Holon mover “is ensured by a triad of features that help the vehicle make the right decisions on the road: an advanced sensing system that makes use of different redundant sensors, an innovative mapping technology as well as a formal model for driving policy. The combination of these technologies makes the HOLON mover an industry-leading mobility concept”, manufacturer stresses.
Electric double-wing doors with photo-electric sensors and an automatically extending ramp with lowering function are included as standard for barrier-free access. Information in Braille and an audiovisual guide provide additional support for visually impaired people during the journey.
The SAE Level 4 mover is based on Mobileye Drive, the industry’s premiere commercial self-driving system for the use in a defined operational design domain. An additional development partner for the vehicle besides Pininfarina and Mobileye is the electronics and IT specialist Cognizant Mobility.
Holon mover, the first pilot with Hamburg Hochbahn
Areas of application for Holon mover are on-demand services, such as ride pooling and ride hailing, but also normal scheduled services, producer adds. The first pilot project has already been announced: in Germany with Hamburg’s Hochbahn, the country’s second-largest mass transit company.
In the U.S., the mobility provider Beep will be responsible for implementing the first vehicles (it is the same partner chosen by ZF for its new autonomous shuttle launched also in Las Vegas). Other areas of application and thus customers include private institutions such as campuses, airports and national parks. The vehicle has room for up to 15 passengers.
Marco Kollmeier, Managing Director of Holon: “Our mover is an answer to social megatrends: Urbanization, climate change, demographics – mobility needs to change. With our mover, we are proving that emission-free, safe, comfortable and inclusive passenger transportation is possible. And thus provides the answer to traffic problems that are becoming prevalent in cities. We are delighted to unveil the vehicle to the global public today. Our mover is specifically designed for autonomous driving. This is reflected in every step of the development and every detail. The result is the world’s highest-quality vehicle of its kind. As such, we are creating a new dimension of smart, sustainable mobility that ideally complements public and private passenger transport.”
A network of partners for Holon mover
“The vehicle design combines two character traits – friendly and inviting as well as technologically advanced and clear. That goes for both the exterior and interior. It immediately makes the Holon mover a design icon,” explains Silvio Pietro Angori, CEO of the renowned Italian design company Pininfarina. “Every detail of the vehicle is designed to make passengers feel more comfortable and safer than in any other mode of transportation.”
“Our autonomous driving system is designed to make ground-breaking mobility concepts possible – like the Holon mover. Seeing the mover come to life is proof of the robustness and scalability of our approach,” says Johann Jungwirth, Senior Vice President, Autonomous Vehicles at Mobileye.
As mentioned above, mobility-services provider Beep is Holon’s preferred partner in the United States, providing turnkey services and a technology platform for service management, governance and user experience.
“Automotive-grade autonomous shuttles provide a critical form factor for reducing congestion and emissions, providing first- and last-mile transportation, and extending mobility equity,” said Joe Moye, CEO of Beep. “The unique and transformative value of shared, autonomous electric transportation is rapidly proving itself in our current deployments and use cases. With this new mover, Holon is setting a standard for this kind of vehicle, and we are excited to introduce it to our current and future customers.”