WHILL Personal Mobility Device is getting self-driving smarts

JC Torres - Jan 7, 2019, 12:32am CST
WHILL Personal Mobility Device is getting self-driving smarts

Vehicles are getting smarter, either from the smartphones we connect to them or in the way they can drive themselves. Many of these technologies have been designed for the common use case of people with full physical mobility. More than two years ago, WHILLS tried to corner a niche market of personal electric vehicles that cater to everyone, even those with accessibility concerns. And like most electric vehicle today, it’s getting some self-driving features too.

It’s easy enough to see a WHILL mobility device and pass it off simply as a hi-tech wheelchair. And that’s actually where WHILL turns the concept on its head. While wheelchairs, even modern, motorized and electric ones, are made for those with handicaps and most personal mobility vehicles are designed for those with full mobility, WHILL’s vehicles are designed for both and all types of users.

Both types of users could also do with some autonomous driving capabilities, be it out of necessity or just convenience. With cameras front and back, the WHILL Autonomous Driving System (ADS) will get you from A to B with few or no interaction from the rider. That works whether it’s outdoor or indoor.

WHILL has no qualms that it’s targeting a very niche market, which ironically actually covers more than its rivals. While the likes of Lime and Bird focus on a specific segment, WHILLS’ wheels for everyone is more inclusive and potentially more useful to more people than its competitors.

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