We all know those fancy resorts where the reception desk is lightyears away from guest rooms, so you're stuck waiting for the golf cart drivers to take you and your luggage to your room. This new Israeli startup is trying to change that. Who knows, maybe on your next vacation you won’t have to wait for a driver but get an autonomous golf cart that will take you wherever you need.

It’s easier to create an autonomous vehicle that does not travel at 100 km/h

The Israeli startup Carteav is developing an autonomous driving system not meant for private vehicles on the highway, but rather for vehicles travelling at low speeds in certain locations like hotels, campuses, airports, hospitals, and more. The system includes the autonomous vehicles themselves, a site management system and a passenger summoning system. In a conversation with Geektime, Eli Doron, co-founder and CTO of the company, explained that the company chose to focus specifically on this type of vehicle because it is much simpler than a fully autonomous vehicle: "This focus makes it possible to reach a working system faster due to the simplification of the technological challenge. Low speed allows for a very short stopping distance (a few meters) and clearer identification of obstacles. Travelling on managed sites allows the site to be mapped in advance and the use of a smart map allows the system to deal better with the environment in which you travel."

BMW 740L
Photo by Eugene Chystiakov / Unsplash

The company takes existing golf carts and installs LiDAR sensors, cameras, and short-range radars on them. Doron explained that these are cheaper components than those of fully autonomous vehicles. When the vehicles are active, the site manager can see alerts about certain situations on a dashboard and solve them remotely and see data about the quality of the service. The system is able to classify and send customers the closest and most suitable vehicle to them and knows how to take into account other elements such as the availability of vehicles and their battery power.

$6.5 million in the bank

Today, Carteav carries out several paid pilots in Israel, including one in the Poleg old age nature reserve. Doron mentioned that in 2023, additional pilots will be launched in Israel and abroad. Moreover, the company will present its development at the world's largest electronics exhibition, CES, and at the prestigious PGA golf tournament. Today (Monday), Carteav announced the completion of $6.5 million in fundraising from Zohar Zisapel (who also serves as the company's chairman), Yehuda Zisapel, Altshuler Shaham, and Mobilion Ventures. Carteav was founded in 2020 by Avinoam Barak (CEO), Eli Doron (CTO), Zvika Waissbaum (VP of Development) and Zohar Zisapel.