After signing a memorandum of understanding in early August for the deployment of an autonomous shuttle in the United States, the driving systems supplier Navya has signed a new partnership for the first autonomous shuttle project in Scotland.
New partnership for Navya, in Scotland this time | Photo credits: Navya / Michaël GOUNON
Created in 2014 in Lyon, the company specializing in the supply of autonomous mobility systems and associated services Navya will put into service an electric and autonomous shuttle to serve a three-kilometre route linking the Inverness campus to the commercial park and the district. of business in the cultural capital of the Highlands. Free during its launch period until October, the shuttle can accommodate up to 15 people and will allow students and campus staff to travel from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This shuttle which, for safety reasons, will have an operator who can take control of the vehicle, is part of Scotland’s ambition to develop shared mobility in complete safety and that the region “be at the forefront of guard of the connected mobility and autonomous vehicle industry”, as Scottish Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth wishes. Based on regular monitoring, stakeholders will also take advantage of this pilot project to judge the viability of an autonomous vehicle and determine the socio-economic impacts of this type of mobility.
As usual, Navya is carrying out this new project by combining public support and private expertise. AECOM, an infrastructure consulting firm which has already collaborated with Navya, will be the prime contractor. HITRANS, regional transport partner for the Highlands and Islands, will be the promoter and will provide the financing, in particular thanks to European support from the project “planning for Autonomous Vehicles”. British transport giant Stagecoach will operate the shuttle, which it has designed and manufactured for Highland Council and Inverness campus journeys. All the partners also want the vehicle to be used as much as possible. In particular, they will let schools use the shuttle for school visits.
The group, which has Valeo and Keolis as historical shareholders, has multiplied this type of partnership, with in particular the signing in early August of a memorandum of understanding with the city of White Bear Lake in the United States. The company, a pioneer since 2015 in the commissioning of autonomous mobility solutions, has sold 200 copies of its passenger transport shuttle in 25 countries and in 2021 achieved a turnover of 10.2 million euros.