We’ve been hearing talk of self-driving cars for ages, but now it looks like rumor has finally become reality with the release of Navia, the world’s first commercial driverless car. Surprisingly, a relatively unknown French company, Induct, has beaten some of the biggest tech giants such as Google and Tesla to be the first to premier an electric self-driving vehicle, now for sale in the U.S. But it won’t be breaking any speed records.
According to the manufacturer, Navia is a robotic, driverless electric vehicle that is “designed to complement conventional transport.” The vehicle seats up to eight passengers and is intended for use as an environmentally-friendly mobility option for specific areas such as pedestrian zones, industrial sites, airports, theme parks, school campuses, large shopping centers and even hospitals, and the zero-emissions car is 100 percent self-sufficient. Induct Robotics Director, Cyril Royere, explains that the car is different from other self driving models, “The Navia can navigate around any type of environment without needing guidance from infrastructure, unlike other solutions that have been developed in this market.”
The Navia can be summoned by smart phone technology or from any desktop. Once inside, passengers can select their destination from a touchscreen. The driverless car has a maximum speed of 12.5 mph and doesn’t require any special infrastructure to operate due to its onboard lasers and sensors that let the car travel safely on most types of terrain. Additionally, those same lasers and sensors are used to avoid pedestrians or other obstacles in its path. The Navia is 100 percent electric and can be recharged unaided at any docking station.
Navia costs approximately $250,000 and a beta version is currently being used at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and the Atomic Energy Authority in Abingdon.
Via Daily Mail
Photos © Induct