French firm selected for Masdar City autonomous vehicle project

17 January 2018
The expanded autonomous vehicle transport infrastructure at Masdar City is expected to be completed in 2019

French autonomous vehicle producer Navya has been selected for the next phase of the driverless mobility network in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City.

According to Abu Dhabi Future Energy (Masdar), the signing of a final contract with Navya is expected to follow once approvals are obtained from the Abu Dhabi Transport Department (DOT).

The contract will entail expanding the existing driverless vehicle network at Masdar, considered the world’s first permanent personal rapid transit (PRT) system, on a new one kilometre route.

“Road improvements will be carried out at Masdar City over the next 12 months to accommodate its new driverless vehicles, while safety tests will be carried out in coordination with DOT,” Masdar said.

The expanded transport network is expected to come on stream in 2019.

The existing PRT system has ferried more than two million passengers between Masdar City’s North Car Park and the Masdar Institute, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, since 2010.

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.

MEED understands the scope of work includes a pilot that will enable the public to get an early look at the new technology.

This new technology is differentiated from current technology due to vehicle infrastructure technology that communicates directly with traffic lights, integration with pedestrians as opposed to an isolated track and outdoor operation, Masdar said.


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