by Tiana May
08 Aug 2022
Navya, a French autonomous mobility company, has announced a new partnership in the US with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), AECOM and the city of White Bear Lake to deploy an Autonom Arma shuttle.
This one-year autonomous shuttle pilot will provide a new transportation opportunity in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. The ‘Bear Tracks’ shuttle will operate on a 2.5-kilometre route within an area that has previously not had a shared transportation option.
“At MnDOT, we appreciate opportunities to collaborate with local communities and companies like Navya, Inc. to strengthen partnerships. Bear Tracks autonomous shuttles provide safe transportation options for members of the White Bear Lake community, especially some of our most vulnerable residents. The demonstration project also provides invaluable information that can advance Minnesota's goal of safe and equitable transportation for everyone in our state.”
The Autonomous Navya Arma shuttle is 100 percent electric and is equipped with an array of sensors to determine its location and surroundings.
The shuttle is completely autonomous and does not have a steering wheel or pedals. However, a safety operator will remain onboard to intervene manually if needed and provide a service to passengers.
AECOM will be the prime contractor for Bear Tracks, while MnDOT will provide financing for the project and Newtrax Transportation will provide the operators, who will be trained by Navya.
“We are thrilled to be working with MnDOT, AECOM and the Town of White Bear Lake on their first autonomous shuttle project in the area. Together, we will bring a mobility solution to many residents who, until then, had no shared transport possibilities. Our shuttles are examples of technologies but also concrete answers to mobility needs to connect people and allow them to easily access many services and activities. This use case in Minnesota will also, throughout this pilot year, provide us with additional data on the operation of the shuttle in highly variable weather conditions.”
The Bear Tracks shuttle will run from Monday to Friday and access will be free for the public.
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