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First autonomous bus service launched in US


Navya’s autonomous Arma Shuttle bus is providing a public service in Las Vegas.

It is the first time a self-driving service has been available to people in the US. Its deployment follows hot on the heels of CES in Las Vegas, the largest high tech event in the world, where Navya showcased its groundbreaking bus service.

The public can currently access the bus, which runs along a route about a fifth of a mile in length on Fremont Street, between 8th Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. It is free to use throughout the trial period, which ends on 20 January.

Navya’s technology, which the French company says is revolutionizing first and last mile transportation is already being deployed in half a dozen other countries, including France, Australia and New Zealand.

The pioneering company enterted the US market late last year, when the ARMA hit the roads of Mcity, a mock city where real life situations are created in a totally secure environment. The Mobility Transformation Center is one of the most prestigious testing grounds in the world and is managed by the University of Michigan. The NAVYA ARMA is it the only European shuttle bus on the site.

The inauguration marked the beginning of a partnership between NAVYA and the MTC. The main objectives of the partnership are to identify areas of joint R&D opportunities with the goal of advancing technologies linked to autonomous vehicles. NAVYA is providing MTC with the NAVYA ARMA shuttle and all the services that go with it (maintenance and supervision) while the MTC is giving NAVYA access to its R&D department and Mcity demonstration platform.

Launched in 2015 by the University of Michigan, MCity is a 10 million dollar project that sits on a 4km² site on the U of M’s North Campus made up of a network of streets and roads, mobile building facades, bridges, reduced speed zones and even dual carriageways, specifically designed for testing connected, automated and autonomous cars. This is a first class choice for French specialist in smart mobility, NAVYA, who is expecting to supply local authorities and private sites in the US with its smart mobility solution.

NAVYA and the MTC are also planning to organise several demonstrations in different cities throught the United States. With the current trial in Las Vegas the first.

CEO of NAVYA, Christophe Sapet, said: “MCity is the perfect partner and Michigan a great place to deploy the first NAVYA ARMA in the US where we expect expansion to be broad and decisive in the coming months.”

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