Holon says its mover will enter production in the US in late 2025.
At the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show, a new brand called Holon is presenting its autonomous and fully electric people mover. It's not designed as a retail product to park in your garage but as a product for mobility companies to offer their services through. As a result, it doesn't even have a proper model name; the company refers to it simply as the "mover."
The brand calls the vehicle "the world's first autonomous mover built to automotive standards" and says it is limited to a top speed of 37 mph with a range of 180 miles.
Holon is owned by the Benteler Group, a German holding company that has a place in a number of fields, from steel to automotive technology. With this, Holon hopes to attract the business of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.
To be honest, we see some issues with this vehicle should it come Stateside. Even the smallest of EVs, like the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf, offer more range and speed for the geographically diverse American market, but then again, this is not intended to be used as a long-distance ferry.
Holon sees the bus as both a tool for scheduled, city bus-style transport and for ride-hailing services. Holon also sees use on college campuses and at airports - really anywhere the mover's low top speed won't be an issue.
The mover will hold up to 15 people, and a "subtly offset seating arrangement provides a sense of privacy" inside. Now also seems as good a time as any to mention that Pininfarina, which has been involved with numerous EVs of late, is responsible for the transporter's Wall-E aesthetic.
The brand plans to run a pilot program out of Hamburg. Here in America, it is working with Beep, a US-based autonomous mobility company.
"Electric double-wing doors with photo-electric sensors and an automatically extending ramp with lowering function are included as standard for barrier-free access," says Holon. "The automatic securing of wheelchairs inside the vehicle combines comfort with safety. Information in Braille and an audiovisual guide provide additional support for visually impaired people during the journey."
The self-driving tech itself will sit at SAE Level 4. That should mean that no human intervention will be required at any time. The Holon is built on a modular architecture, too, which should allow for multiple variations. Perhaps this will assuage our concerns about the vehicle's current top speed. The brand says these can be for both passenger and freight applications, with a special focus on last-mile deliveries, like Rivian's Amazon van.
Holon says production will start in the US by the end of 2025. After that, production will scale to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia as needed.