Did you travel the driverless shuttle in Abu Dhabi?

By Angel Chan

Masdar City unveils Navya ‘Autonom Shuttle’

ABU DHABI 23 October 2018: Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban development, has embarked on the next phase of its sustainable mobility network by unveiling 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.

Designed by French autonomous vehicle pioneer Navya, the shuttle is a self-driven electric vehicle dedicated to first and last-mile transport with a top operational speed of 25 kilometres per hour.

The shuttle will 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 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.

“Masdar City’s iconic Personal Rapid Transit, PRT, system, which has carried more than two million passengers in eight years of operations, has established a benchmark for driverless and sustainable mobility in the UAE,” Baselaib added.

Customised Shuttle

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 were also carried out to safeguard passengers and pedestrians.

The vehicle uses onboard cameras and sensitive sensors creating 3D and 2D perception maps to detect obstacles and their position relative to the vehicle. The GPS technology further allows the vehicle to define its precise location, as well as V2X to communicate with traffic lights.

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.

Also attending the event were Khaled Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Officer for Aerospace, Renewables and ICT at Mubadala Investment Company; Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company); Mohammed Darwish Al Qamzi, General Manager of Integrated Transport Centre, Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi, and Jerome Rigaud, Deputy CEO of Navya Group.

Dubai Gazette