Google may have captured all the headlines with its driverless cars, but it’s not the only one experimenting with autonomous vehicles. Induct, a mobility solutions firm based in France, has developed a driverless electric shuttle designed for use in pedestrian-heavy areas such as airport parking lots, shopping malls, business parks and universities. Called “Navia”, the shuttle can provide an on-demand, planet-friendly transportation in areas that existing vehicles cannot reach.
In place of a driver, Navia boasts laser range finders, cameras and GPS technology as well as accelerometers and gyroscopes that allow it to instantly calculate its position, route and distance traveled. This arsenal of high-tech equipment ensures that the vehicle will move safely, even though areas crowded by pedestrians. Capable of carrying up to eight passengers at a maximum speed of 12.5 mph, Navia’s propulsion system uses Lithium-Polymer batteries and a 15” instant wireless recharging system that gives the shuttle a boost of juice at each stop.
The first Navias have already been scooped up for early testing at Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), with partnerships already planned with the University of West Florida and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, Induct says.