Some days, when we’re talking about electric vehicles or installing EV chargers, it feels like we’re living in the future. Doesn’t it seem like it was just yesterday that EVs were only found in science fiction movies? Now, Induct is taking EVs to the next level and introducing Navia, their robotic driverless electric vehicle!
Public transport is not enough on its own. We have to think of ways of getting around that are accessible and near at hand. The aim is to improve mobility by thinking beyond traditional layouts and the private car. ”
– Pierre Lefévre, CEO, Induct
So far, these Navia vehicles are mainly for short distances in areas like college campuses or pedestrian shopping centres, but the concept is exciting. To give you a few more details, these EVs don’t require a driver and travel at a maximum speed of 12.5 mph. They use onboard LIDAR lasers, sensors, and cameras to avoid obstacles or stop if someone walks into its path. The machine is virtually silent and, most importantly, eco-friendly.
How does a driverless vehicle know where to go?
When a passenger gets into the vehicle, they would use a touch screen to select one of a few predetermined stops and off they go! The EV’s doors open automatically to let people on and off and will recharge in a magnetic induction docking station after a hard day’s work. No rails or electric circuits are required for the Navia to work, which means that it could revolutionize the future of electric public transportation.
Venture Beat recently reported that Induct is already testing their North American markets and was demonstrating their driverless electric vehicle at the 2014 International CES trade show in Las Vegas, last month.
Currently, a Navia will set you back roughly $250,000, excluding a 10% maintenance fee, but some early beta customers paid less and at least one, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, plans to purchase a fleet of Navia driverless EVs.
Google wants in on the driverless EV action
Not surprisingly, Google has said that they are developing driverless cars and it gets us wondering whether the competition with Navia in the US market will prompt a race to commercialize driverless vehicles. It could be an exciting competition to watch!
What do you think? Would you hop on board a driverless electric vehicle?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Picture from: induct-technology.com