Keolis and Navya launch autonomous service in France

New 1.3km route uses same driverless Navya buses as Western Australian trial

Keolis and Navya launch autonomous service in France
The Navya Arma. Photo: Navly (Navya/Keolis)

A new service headed by tech-and-transport leaders Navya and Keolis, called Navly, is running the first fully electric and fully autonomous public transport route in the world.

The service covers over a kilometre of Lyon’s central Confluence district, a route which the Navya Arma travels in 13 minutes – averaging about 15km/h.

In a joint press release, Keolis and Navya say the aim of the project is to make Lyon a "more intelligent" city.

"This symbolic location is recognised as an "eco-district" by the French government, a "sustainable district" by the WWF and has also been awarded the European Concerto label for its energy efficient buildings," the release states.

"This public/private collaboration aims to promote the creation of brand new services for passengers and enable innovative businesses to emerge, with a focus on sustainable development, mobility, energy saving, the environment and quality of life."

The Arma ‘shuttle’ is only able to carry 15 people at once, with four of those standing and one a Navly supervisor.

"There is no steering wheel and no pedals, they run on a battery, are 100% electric and boast an effective navigation and sensor system incorporating the simultaneous use of several types of the very latest technology including Lidars, stereovision cameras, RTK (real-time kinematic) GPS, IMU and odometry."

Much like the trials being conducted in Perth, the service is likely a ‘stepping-stone’ towards an actually viable system which can be used efficiently on a large scale.

The Navly service will be operated by Keolis, an international operator that also runs light rail in Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

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