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French company introduces Navya Arma, a driverless shuttle at the Airport Show

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11 May 2016

Airports in the region could soon be using driverless electric shuttles to transport passengers and their luggage.

Navya ARMA, a 100 per cent electric and intelligent driverless shuttle, introduced for the first ever time in the Middle East at the Airport Show 2016, can transport up to 15 passengers and safely drive up to 45 km/h.

Navya, the French company which has conceptualised and manufactured the vehicle, is keen on introducing the shuttle at airports across the Middle East region.

French company introduces Navya Arma, a driverless shuttle at the Airport Show

Quentin Curtis, Middle East Representative, Navya, said: “We have received a very encouraging response at the Airport Show to Navya ARMA and we are very eager to introduce this transport vehicle in this region. The region, especially Dubai, is very active when it comes to implementing the latest smart technology. In addition to that, there are many airport projects which are ongoing and in the pipeline, which brings tremendous opportunity for innovative solutions such as the driverless vehicle.”

“This shuttle can not only comfortably transport passengers and their luggage, thereby improving user experience, it can also optimise the transport of airport personnel, is clean and cost effective,” added.

The environmentally friendly vehicle uses electrical energy, its batteries can be recharged by induction and can last from 5 to 13 hours, and can adapt to any situation by avoiding the static and dynamic obstacles.

The design of the shuttle is the fruit of ten years of research and expertise which allows it to achieve the highest level of autonomy possible: Level 5, making the Navya ARMA the first entirely autonomous series vehicle, said Henri Coron, Vice-President of Navya.

The technical design of the Navya ARMA resides on 3 transversal pillars: Perception, which enables the understanding of the environment in which the vehicle is located, detecting obstacles and anticipating the displacements. Decision, which computes and determines its itinerary and trajectory. Navigation, which applies and follows the most optimal route computed for the vehicle.

Curtis said the shuttle will be launched around July this year at Frankfurt Airport and the company hopes to introduce it soon in the Middle East.

“We are in talks with some key decision makers and are hopeful of positive outcome,” added Curtis.

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