LAS VEGAS, Nev. (January 6, 2019)—WHILL, Inc., manufacturers of personal electric vehicles (PEVs) that help eliminate the feeling of self-consciousness associated with scooters and wheelchairs, is introducing the WHILL Autonomous Drive at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas.

With an attendance of more than 180,000 people and 4,400 exhibits, CES is considered one of the world’s most respected electronics venue and honors bestowed at the convention are coveted. WHILL’s Autonomous Drive System and MaaS business have been awarded the CES 2019 Best of Innovation Award in Accessibility Technology. In 2018, WHILL’s Model Ci also received the CES Best of Innovation Award in Accessibility Technology and was named a TIME’s Best Invention for 2018.

“The WHILL Autonomous Drive PEV will be common in future public settings such as theme parks, museums, hospitals, shopping malls, airports and city centers,” says Satoshi Sugie, co-founder and CEO of WHILL, based in San Carlos, Calif. “In the not-so-distant future a user who has difficulty walking will merely “summon” the vehicle. The WHILL Autonomous Drive technology will allow even first-time operators to experience greater independence as they’re relieved of the burden of requiring assistance.”

According to WHILL, the company is beta-testing its autonomous technology and growing its MaaS business with an eye on future “last-mile mobility." It has also entered agreements with several major airports including Heathrow International Airport for a trial and feasibility study of WHILL’s manual and autonomous personal mobility devices in the travel space. Beyond providing traveler convenience, the auto-return/auto-dispatch functionality will also reduce manpower needed for collecting wheelchairs and reduce operating expenses for facilities management companies and others.

CES attendees who visit WHILL’s booth #43513 at the Sands Expo will be able to summon their own autonomous vehicle via an iPad and put the vehicle through a series of exercises.

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