French firm picked to expand Masdar City driverless network

UAE-based energy firm Masdar appoints NAVYA to help build next phase of autonomous mobility network
By Staff writer
Wed 17 Jan 2018 01:08 PM

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) has selected French autonomous vehicle producer NAVYA to help build the next phase of the mobility network of Masdar City.

The driverless vehicle network, currently serving the sustainable urban community, will be expanded along a new one-kilometre route, Masdar said in a statement.

Since 2010, the world’s first permanent personal rapid transport (PRT) system has ferried more than 2 million passengers between the city’s North Car Park and the Masdar Institute, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

Now, a new fleet of autonomous vehicles will link the institute with the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and a new shopping mall under construction, the statement said.

Yousef Baselaib, executive director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar, said: "With its community of residents, visitors, business tenants and office workers continuing to grow, Masdar City will be at the forefront of sustainable mobility innovation.

"The rapid advances in mobility technology over the last decade have allowed us to re-examine the transport needs and road configuration of the city to find the best solution to serve its expanding population. This expansion will result in the world’s first outdoor, large-scale sustainable transportation system."

New research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that electric vehicle sales will more than triple by 2021, and that half of all vehicles sold annually by 2040 will be electric.

Christian Le Borgne, NAVYA’s chief operations officer, added: "We believe that we have created a product that is ideal for urban transportation autonomous, electric, safe, reliable, and economic.

"We understand the challenges of the climate, regarding battery performance and passenger comfort, and have customised our vehicle to meet the demanding specifications of Masdar City, and its residents and visitors."

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