Navya launches first fully autonomous taxi


French self-driving vehicle manufacturer Navya has unveiled Autonom Cab, the first fully autonomous ‘robotized’ production taxi cab on the market, with the aim of creating a revolution in urban mobility ecosystems.

Navya says this unique mobility solution, which is autonomous, personalized and shared, answers the major challenges urban populations face traveling in and around cities. In a move toward the creation of smart cities, the totally electric-powered Autonom Cab provides an intelligent transport service for individual trips in urban centers.

The cab was designed from the outset to be autonomous, just like all the vehicles in Navya’s Autonom range, meaning that there is no cockpit, steering wheel or pedals. Able to carry one to six passengers, Autonom is a capable of speeds up to 56mph (90km/h), but will average closer to 31mph (50km/h) as it travels in most urban areas to conform with local speed limits.

Available as either a private or shared service, Autonom Cab places an emphasis on well-being and comfort and will offer a wide range of services benefiting from fully connected technology to restore freedom of mobility. Due to the dedicated Navya APP smartphone application, users can order an Autonom Cab with a simple click, and open and close the vehicle’s door to start it up.

The vehicle benefits from some of the most sophisticated multi-sensor technology on the market, with no fewer than 10 lidar sensors, six cameras, four radars, two GNSS antennae and an inertial measurement unit (IMU), which provide at least a triple redundancy across all functions, guaranteeing exceptional reliability. The onboard computer is capable of constantly merging data received by the sensor architecture with Navya’s own route optimization and mapping tool that generates comprehensive and precise cartography.

Drawing on its production capacity in France and the USA, Navya says it is in a position to deploy the Autonom Cab quickly. Current plans are for the vehicle to begin service in the second quarter of 2018. Navya already has various partnership agreements with transport specialists, notably with Keolis in Europe and the USA, and with RAC in Australia. These partnerships will enable Navya to roll out fleets of Autonoms that will operate on the open road in city centers. Other partnerships are set to be announced during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from January 7-12, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Imagine what cities would be like if there were nothing but Autonoms running on the road. No more traffic jams or parking problems, fewer accidents and less pollution,” said Navya’s CEO, Christophe Sapet.

To watch a video of the Autonom Cab in action, click here. 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).