Ruli Pennington is Editor of Council News Monitor and writes Night in the City an occasional column for Information Daily. She is passionate about better public services, devolution, malt whisky & women's football.@UnruliP
An autonomous shuttle service has been launched in the heart of the Paris, La Défense business district .
On 3rd July Navya and public transport company Keolis, launched a brand new autonomous shuttle service in partnership with Paris public transport authority Ile-de-France Mobilités and Defacto a public company set up to manage the La Défense business district.
The six month trial, using three Navya Arma fully autonomous electric shuttles, is free of charge for users and offers three different routes, serving the main areas of the Paris La Défense district. During the first 3 months, operators will be present onboard the shuttle. However, the second phase will see the Navya Arma shuttles running in full autonomous mode, with no operators onboard! This is the very first time that such a trial will have been conducted in a semi-pedestrian area.
The shuttle can carry up to 15 people. Equipped with a multitude of sensor technology to provide 3D vision which enables it to map out the environment, detect obstacles in its path and identify traffic and road signs. The Navya Arma can reach speeds of 28mph. However, taking into account the nature of the sites it often serves, this is usually limited to 15 mph. The vehicle is designed to offer "complementary mobility" for users of public transport, covering the first and last few kilometres distances which are often too short to go by car too long to go on foot.
In the spring of 2017 an autonomous shuttle bus service was on trial between the Gare de Lyon and Gare d’Austerlitz. Now the three Navya shuttles will operate over two routes during weekdays from 8:00am-8:00pm and a third route will be added at weekends from 10:00am–6:00pm. The shuttles are available to everyone and the journeys are free of charge.