The Benteler Group has announced that it is expecting to secure a multi-million-dollar investment to expand Holon, its autonomous mover business. Tasaru Mobility Investments, a Saudi Arabian investment company specializing in automotive initiatives, intends to acquire a minority stake in Holon for a nine-digit sum.
The planned acquisition of a stake of up to 38% in Holon by Tasaru will occur in several tranches, with the first one expected in April, and is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals. The Bentler subsidiary will utilize the funds from Tasaru’s investment to further advance the series development and industrialization of its all-electric, autonomous mover. Here, Holon plans to establish three production sites – in Europe, Saudi Arabia, and the USA – to help market the vehicle worldwide.
The Holon Mover itself is a fully-electric autonomous vehicle intended for use on public roads. It travels at a maximum speed of 37 mph (60 km/h) and can accommodate up to 15 passengers. Its areas of application will include on-demand services, such as ridepooling and ridehailing, as well as more conventional scheduled services. Inclusivity is a key focus of the Mover’s design, offering an automated ramp, secured wheelchair space, and auditory and visual assistance. This design comes from Pininfarina and Mobileye, Intel’s autonomous driving technology subsidiary.
One of the first pilot projects for the use of the AV will see it operate in the city of Hamburg, Germany. The country’s Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport recently provided €26 million ($27.9 million / £22.1 million) in funding for a corresponding project.