NAVYA to open a plant in Saline to produce ARMA autonomous shuttles
The French autonomous vehicle maker NAVYA announced that it will open the first U.S. plant in Saline, Michigan. NAVYA plans to build 25 of its self-driving ARMA shuttles at the 20,000 square-foot facility before the end of 2017. The funds are approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund and they will be administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
The ARMA autonomous shuttles provide first and last transportation solutions. There are 45 NAVYA vehicles worldwide, with more than 170,000 passengers transported. With the opening of the plant in Saline, the company will be able to boost production significantly to serve the growing North American market.
“We at NAVYA could not be more pleased to call Saline, Michigan home to our first assembly plant in North America. As the greater Ann Arbor area continues to establish itself as a hub for autonomous vehicle development, we feel it’s the perfect location for us. Strong government and community support for mobility initiatives combined with an excellent talent pool provide the ideal environment for our expansion in North America,” said NAVYA CEO Christophe Sapet.
This project is expected to generate a capital investment of more than $1 million and create around 50 jobs in the North American market. NAVYA also made the announcement with project collaborators Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Ann Arbor SPARK.
The shuttles will be a part of a regular shuttle service at the University of Michigan’s North campus in Ann Arbor.
ABOUT THE NAVYA ARMA
NAVYA ARMA is a safe, reliable and comfortable 100% autonomous, driverless and electric public transport vehicle that can carry up to 15 people. It has been designed to ensure the specific functions of an autonomous vehicle while optimizing navigation and safety. The shuttle is equipped with a multitude of sensor technology to provide 3D vision which enables it to map out the environment, detect obstacles in its path and identify traffic and road signs.
The NAVYA ARMA shuttle can reach speeds of 28miles/hr. However, taking into account the nature of the sites it often serves, this is often limited to 15 miles/hr. The vehicle aims to provide a complement to current public transport systems over distances that are too short to go by car or are too long on foot.
NAVYA, created in 2014, is a French company specializing in developing innovative, smart and sustainable mobility solutions. NAVYA develops driverless, automated electric vehicles that are independent of all infrastructure. These vehicles are designed for the intelligent transport of people and goods. In October 2015, NAVYA launched the NAVYA ARMA, a 100% autonomous, driverless and electric shuttle which can transport up to 15 people and which is now operating on different sites: private sites and public roads.
The vehicle is equipped with numerous sensors and an on-board computing system that enables it to interact with its surroundings. It is also intended to provide efficient mobility solutions in terms of space and energy. NAVYA benefits from major advances in technology in the autonomous, electric vehicle sector thanks to its experience in the field and a highly-qualified R&D team. Christophe Sapet, its CEO, is supported by a team of 130 people divided up between Lyon and Paris.