It was at the Estonian embassy that Tesla Magazine was able to attend the presentation and then the demonstration of a remote-controlled car: Elmo proposed by an Estonian start-up company.
The company presents itself as a provider of the new generation of green mobility services, it has been able to create a place in its domestic market, where the company has 14,000 customers and currently only covers Estonia.
It has already deployed 140 vehicles, including 55 electric vehicles and 5 hybrid cars.
As soon as we arrived we were able to discuss with the CEO of Elmo: Enn Laansoo, which explains the operation of their system in detail: to offer a car that would come as soon as it is ordered on the application thanks to a remote control system, directly in front of the house to a customer who wants to use a car rental or car sharing. He can then take full control of the electric car.
This could thus facilitate the delivery of electric cars for rent, although the idea of a car without a driver still seems a bit utopian for safety and legal reasons.
When it was created in 2014 Elmo offered rental of clean vehicles and sharing services.
Currently, Elmo offers this new service on Renault Zoé and Nissan Leaf, the technology used works through electronic signals. A driver is currently present in the vehicle, but he does not control the car itself, which is remotely controlled by a company employee. Due to certain latency issues that may arise, the physically present driver may, as soon as the need arises, take control of the car.
According to ELMO, this technological advancement could open up new perspectives in the military sector or in local transport. But it is above all for its area of activity (cars and short-term rental) that the company has developed this system.
Why choose Nissan Leaf?
Initially, the company chose to use the Nissan Leaf because it is one of the oldest electric cars on the market. The CEO also told us that he had not touched the mechanical aspect of the car, only the electronic aspect. He would like to propose the idea to France and set up this service from the month of June.
For the connection system, which will allow the movement of a fully remote-controlled vehicle in the future, it consists of 2 connections connected to 4G, which will serve as support if one of the two breaks down. In the event that the two connections do not work, which represents a risk of appearance of 5%, the vehicle will no longer be controlled by the remote control and the vehicle will therefore stand still.
Enn Laansoo also introduced us to the mobile application offered by the company, here are the main features:
–Drive yourself: Here you can see where Elmo car sharing is located near you.
–Get transfer : This feature will be made available to customers who want to access a vehicle with a transfer service such as a taxi. (TO DEVELOP)
-Bring it to me: it is thanks to this tab in the application that a customer could receive his vehicle where he indicated it on the app.
– See statistics: this tab allows you to see how efficiently you use your Elmo car, it tells you in particular your consumption and the benefit of having chosen this rental system.
Then you have another tab that re-explains the company’s mission and its technological prowess.
The idea is proposed for car sharing or for long term rental, the benefit of the brand would be that the car directly joins its future driver in front of his home or you can bring it back from the woods or beach to his home. you!
Currently, the vehicles are equipped with drivers in case the network is saturated and to guarantee safety above all else, but who knows if in the future you will be able to receive your rental car in shared car in front of your home in no time!
Faced with several connectivity issues that they might encounter, one of the creators of the company explains to us that he would like to create a map to solve latency issues and facilitate remote control of the car.
The Elmo experience in Paris
After better understanding the company’s project, we were able to attend a demonstration in Paris, one driver is present in the vehicle if the network is saturated in case of, and another remotely controls the vehicle thanks to this system similar to a video games! Supporting evidence!
The car then starts by itself, the steering wheel moves by itself remotely controlled by the steering wheel steering wheel and then you are off! The driver who remotely controls the car has access to all potential hazards thanks to large screens and detection of blind spots, vehicles as well as pedestrians are highly visible, and he then controls the vehicle in the city. Unfortunately, during the demonstration, the network was saturated because the embassy had to give them an independent network that they could not get. Thus, the driver of the vehicle often regained control, but we were still able to see the technological advances in this amazing prototype!
Even better, Kristina Kalda one of the representatives of the company told us about their test in Toulouse, where the control was taken from Estonia itself, and the experience had astonished and questioned the public, although some network problems had to be regretted.
Tesla Mag review
Although the idea seems rather daunting and risky, it also shows the universe of electric vehicles, which continues to expand as technology evolves. We are far from fully autonomous vehicles, but the futuristic ideas of our ancestors, such as the flying car, seem more feasible to us than ever!
Significant positive point for future remote control for the disabled!