Masdar City to introduce first operational autonomous mobility service in MENA with unveiling of NAVYA ‘AUTONOM SHUTTLE’
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; October 22, 2018 – Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban development, has embarked on the next phase of its sustainable mobility network with today’s formal unveiling of its first NAVYA autonomous vehicle.
Capable of transporting up to 12 people, the ‘Autonom® Shuttle’ was inaugurated in the presence of dignitaries representing the Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi Police, and the French Embassy.
Also attending were Khaled Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Officer for Aerospace, Renewables & ICT at Mubadala Investment Company; Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company); and Jérôme Rigaud, Deputy CEO of NAVYA Group.
Designed by the French autonomous vehicle pioneer NAVYA, the Autonom® Shuttle is a self-driving electric vehicle dedicated to first and last-mile transportation. It carries up to 12 people with 8 seated, is fully autonomous and has a top operational speed of 25 kilometres per hour.
Having successfully completed a rigorous pilot phase, the NAVYA shuttle will shortly begin a regular all-day service linking Masdar City’s parking areas with its main podium. The service will be the first operational use of the technology in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Masdar City is built on the three pillars of economic, societal and environmental sustainability and the introduction of our first NAVYA vehicle perfectly illustrates this philosophy in action,” said Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar. “With urban mobility at the forefront of the sustainability conversation in the UAE and worldwide, and with the business, residential and research community here at Masdar City continuing to flourish, Masdar is building on its legacy as a catalyst for clean-tech innovation to bring cutting-edge and commercially viable autonomous mobility to the streets of Masdar City.”
“Masdar City’s iconic Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, which has carried more than 2 million passengers in eight years of operations, established a benchmark for driverless and sustainable mobility in the UAE,” added Baselaib. “The introduction of our first NAVYA shuttle represents the next exciting phase of the city’s mobility journey.”
Working closely with Abu Dhabi Department of Transport and NAVYA Group, the NAVYA shuttle was customised to mitigate the effects of the Gulf’s extreme heat and humidity on battery performance. Rigorous health and safety testing was also carried out to safeguard passengers and pedestrians.
The vehicle uses on-board cameras and sensitive LIDAR sensors creating 3D and 2D “perception maps” to detect obstacles and their position relative to the vehicle. GPS technology further allows the vehicle to define its precise location, as well as V2X to communicate with traffic lights.
Mohammed Darwish Al Qamzi, General Manager of Integrated Transport Center, Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi (DoT), said: “The arrival of autonomous mobility at Masdar has been the result of a highly successful collaboration between the DoT, Masdar and NAVYA, which has further raised the profile of Abu Dhabi as leader in environmental best practice and sustainable urban development. Today’s launch supports Abu Dhabi’s strategic aim to realize a world-class transportation system for the benefit of both residents and visitors, unlocking in the process further social and economic gains for the emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
At Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018 in January, NAVYA was selected as the winner of a global industry competition to supply Masdar City with the latest models of autonomous electric vehicles.
“We are proud to be working with Masdar, a global leader in renewable energy and sustainable real estate,” said Jérôme Rigaud, NAVYA Group Deputy CEO. “NAVYA is delighted to provide Masdar City with its fully autonomous and smart solutions, providing users with a new way of getting around. Masdar City is the perfect place to commemorate the first deployment of the NAVYA Autonom® Shuttle in the MENA region, where we expect expansion within Masdar City to be broad and decisive in the coming months.”
Implementation of Masdar City’s wider transportation strategy will see the arrival of a fleet of seven Autonom® Shuttles from next year. Over time the shuttle route map will be expanded to connect the Etihad Eco Residence complex above the city’s North Car Park with the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Majid Al Futtaim’s My City Centre Masdar shopping mall due for completion in the first half of 2019.
Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar is advancing the commercialization and deployment of renewable energy, sustainable urban development and clean technologies to address global sustainability challenges. Wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, the strategic investment company of the Government of Abu Dhabi, our mandate is to help maintain the UAE’s leadership in the global energy sector, while supporting the diversification of both its economy and energy sources for the benefit of future generations.
About Masdar City
Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City is one of the world’s most sustainable communities. It is made up of a rapidly growing clean-tech cluster, business free zone and residential neighbourhood with restaurants, shops and public green spaces. Masdar City is a working model for cities around the world based on the three pillars of environmental, economic and social sustainability, and continues to push the boundaries of innovation. The sustainable city is home to the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency, several Fortune 500 companies, hundreds of local businesses and entrepreneurs, and a leading graduate-level research institute.
NAVYA is a leading French name in the autonomous vehicle market and in smart shared mobility solutions. With more than 200 employees in France (Paris and Lyon) and in the United States (Michigan), NAVYA develops, manufactures and commercializes autonomous, driverless, and electric vehicles that combine robotic, digital and driving technologies at the highest level.
Since 2015, NAVYA has been the first to market and put into service autonomous mobility solutions, shuttles and cabs. NAVYA has a range of two autonomous vehicles: the AUTONOM® SHUTTLE, launched in September 2015, of which more than 100 have already been produced as of today and 89 sold in 17 countries as of June 30, 2018, notably in the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Australia, and the AUTONOM® CAB, unveiled in November 2017 and whose first road tests will start shortly.
Created in 2014 by Christophe Sapet and Robolution Capital 1 (managed by 360 Capital Partners), his reference shareholder, NAVYA’s shareholders also include the Gravitation fund and Paris Region Venture Fund (Région Île-de-France) managed by Cap Decisif Management as well as Valeo and Keolis groups.
NAVYA is listed on the Euronext regulated market in Paris (ISIN code: FR0013018041- NAVYA).
Masdar Media Contacts:
Tel enquiries in Arabic: +971 2 653 3333
Tel enquiries in English: +971 2 653 6014
For more information please visit: http://www.masdar.ae and connect: facebook.com/masdar.ae and twitter.com/masdar
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