Despite the concept of autonomous cars suggesting a seamless, hands-free driving experience as far back as the late 1950s, only the peripheral technologies have made their way into the real world. Our ancestors would have marveled at the video displays, powertrains, and navigation systems available today. But the 21st century concept of “mobility” has also turned out to be a bit of a scam.

Formerly a catch-all term for autonomous transportation, the phrase has been redefined by the industry to pertain to subscription fees, over-the-air updates, digitally affixing your credit card information to the vehicle, and just about any present-day feature it’s interested in selling. Meanwhile, the self-driving programs that kicked off the would-be renaissance have been stagnating as companies cannot quite figure out how to teach a car to successfully assume all of the duties of a human driver. However there’s a German startup that’s attempting to circumvent those obstacles by employing digital chauffeurs working from far-off locations.

At a glance, Vay appears to have all the hallmarks of a self-driving vehicle firm. It uses a minimalist logo, language that borrows obnoxiously from marketing agencies, and is heavily dependent upon same hardware all autonomous vehicles currently need to function. But how it’s utilizing those on-board systems is very different. Rather than hiring an army of engineers and programmers in an attempt to teach an automobile how to drive…

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