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.
The company presents itself as a provider of new generation green mobility services, has managed 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 vehicles.
As soon as we arrived we were able to talk to the CEO of Elmo: Enn Laansoo, which explains in detail how your system works: offer a car that would come, as soon as you ask the application thanks to a remote control system, directly in front of the house of a customer who wants to use a rental vehicle. or the carpool. You can then take full control of the electric car.
This could facilitate the delivery of electric rental vehicles, although the idea of a driverless car still seems a bit utopian, for reasons related to safety and legality.
When it was created in 2014 Elmo offered clean vehicle rental and sharing services.
Elmo currently offers this new service to Renault Zoé and Nissan Leaf, the technology used works by sending electronic signals. There is currently a driver in the vehicle but he does not control his own car, which is being piloted remotely 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 or local transportation sector. But it is mainly due to its scope of activity (automotive and short-term rental services) that the company has developed this system.
Why choose the 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 one. He would like to propose the idea in France and launch this service from June.
As for the connection system that would allow the movement of a fully remote-controlled vehicle in the future, it consists of 2 connections connected to 4G that would serve as support if one of the two fails. In the event that the two connections do not work, which means a 5% risk of occurrence, the vehicle will no longer be guided by the remote control and, therefore, the vehicle will be stopped.
The Elmo app
Enn Laansoo also introduced us to the mobile application offered by the company, these are the main functions:
–Drive yourself: Here you can see where Elmo Car Sharing cars are near you.
–Get a transfer : This feature would be available for guests wishing to access a vehicle with a shuttle service such as a taxi. (TO DEVELOP)
-Give it to me: it is thanks to this tab of the application that a customer could receive his vehicle where he indicated it in the application.
– See statistics: this tab allows you to see how efficiently you use your Elmo car, it will indicate in particular your consumption and the advantage of having chosen this rental system.
Below is another tab that re-explains the company’s mission and technological prowess.
The idea is proposed for shared car vehicles or for long-term rentals, the advantage of the brand would be that the car will be incorporated directly into its future driver in front of your home or you can take it back from the forest or the beach at home. you!
At the moment the vehicles are equipped with drivers in case the network is saturated and to guarantee above all the security, but who knows if in the future you will be able to receive your rental car in a shared car in front of your house in a very short time!
Faced with numerous connection issues that could be encountered, one of the creators of the company tells us that he would like to assemble a card to solve latency problems and facilitate remote control of the car.
The Elmo experience in Paris
After a better understanding of 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 just in case and another controls the vehicle remotely thanks to this similar system to a video game! Evidence of support!
Then the car starts all by itself, the steering wheel moves alone remotely controlled by the steering wheel of the control table and that’s it! The driver who drives the car remotely has access to all potential dangers thanks to the big screens and the detection of blind spots, both vehicles and pedestrians are very visible and then drives the vehicle in the city. Unfortunately during the demonstration the network was saturated because the embassy had to provide them with an independent network that they could not obtain. Thus, the driver present in the vehicle often regained control, but we could still see the technological progress of this amazing prototype!
Even better, Kristina Kalda one of the representatives of the company told us about his test in Toulouse where he took control from Estonia itself and the experience had surprised and questioned the public although some network problems had to be regretted.
Tesla Mag Review
While the idea sounds pretty scary and risky, it also shows the universe of electric vehicles that continues to expand as technology advances. We are a long way from fully autonomous vehicles, but the futuristic ideas of our ancestors, such as the flying car, seem more feasible than ever!
Significant positive point for the future remote control for people with reduced mobility!