Amber Mobility: On-demand sustainable mobility

Amber Mobility

Last month, Amber made a big announcement at the Hannover Messe, stating that they would be implementing self-driving cars on a large scale, and that these cars would hit the roads in mid-2018. Sounds like a great idea, but what’s the story behind Amber exactly?

Amber is startup hailing from Eindhoven. Founded in early 2016, the company already boasts more than 20 employees, all of whom are working on a single goal: A future in which people have access to on-demand, sustainable mobility. Through their car sharing service called Amber Mobility, the startup wants to eventually provide both business and private users throughout Europe with access to electric cars at all times and within walking distance, for just 33 euro per week.

In order to achieve this vision, Amber has already started offering their service to companies. As of May 2017, ABN AMRO employees in Eindhoven have unlimited access to mobility, using the app and a shared fleet of electric BMW i3s. Amber serves as a sustainable and affordable alternative for corporate lease cars, while saving on parking space as well.

The fleet based at ABN AMRO marks the establishment of the first “Amber Mobility hub”, but this is just the first item on the agenda. Amber soon plans to launch a similar hub on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. The goal is to have hundreds of shared electric cars driving around Eindhoven by the end of this year. And after Eindhoven, the rest of the Netherlands gets its chance to have on-demand electric mobility as well. And after the Netherlands? The sky’s the limit.

As the platform grows, private users will also be able to join. With a simple monthly subscription, users will have access to mobility whenever and wherever they want. In order to accomplish this guarantee for mobility, it’s important to have an optimal system for the distribution of the cars. To balance supply and demand, the cars will initially be distributed manually, but this only makes sense for so long.

To solve this problem, Amber plans to equip the BMW i3s with self-driving technology in cooperation with partners including Microsoft, NVIDIA, KPN, TNO, and TomTom. The cars will relocate themselves at night and on quiet roads, in order to optimize safety. It’s not the intention to have passengers in the car while the car is driving itself, since the main purpose of the automation is to distribute the cars to where they’re needed. This means that the threshold for the acceptance of the test case is much lower. The municipalities of Eindhoven and Helmond support the project and will do what they can to see it move forward.

Because Amber plans to be the most convenient and efficient car sharing service, they’ve gone one step further, in deciding to build their own modular electric car, the Amber One. The Amber One is the first car in the world designed specifically to be shared. It’s extremely lightweight, which reduces energy consumption and increases its lifespan significantly. The Amber One is ultimately how Amber will provide everyone with mobility.

If you’d like to learn more about Amber, visit their website, or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.