Autonomous Vehicles

Published on May 16th, 2016 | by Kyle Field

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1st Autonomous Electric Vehicle In Production Hits The Road!

May 16th, 2016 by  

ARMA.20 shuttle

Introducing the NAVYA ARMA Autonomous Shuttle Bus

Innovative vehicle company NAVYA has developed the first autonomous electric vehicle in the world that people can actually buy and use. The ARMA is purpose built to serve as a shuttle bus or taxi and is already being used out in the field with real customers and real passengers.

The ARMA accomplishes this with a combination of GPS, LIDAR, and cameras — pretty ARMA.15 shuttlestandard stuff in the autonomous vehicle world; though, what ARMA has accomplished is quite a feat. As the ARMA drives its route, it records the entire journey and, as it does so, it defines everything along the route — car, pedestrian, curb, etc, in order to drive the route with the highest level of accuracy and safety.

ARMA On the Job

The featured implementation of the ARMA is at the EDF Nuclear Plant of Civaux, where it replaced an antiquated diesel bus. Upgrading to an autonomous electric shuttle bus has turned the tour from a smelly, bumpy, noisy ride into a smooth, quiet journey that feels like it is something pulled forward from the future, or as one passenger said, it is “like being on a magic carpet.”

The halo effect is also important, as passengers touring the EDF Plant walk away from the autonomous shuttle with an improved perception of the plant itself because of the futuristic autonomous electric shuttle bus. As compared to the diesel bus it replaced, the new bus features no vibration (it’s so smooooooth!) and very little noise.

Finally, in addition to providing a better rider experience, the NAVYA ARMA is delivering cost savings vs the previous diesel-powered bus — from reduced maintenance, lower fuel costs, and even the money saved from not having a driver. The ARMA can carry up to 15 passengers at a time and is already transporting over 1,100 people per year over the 220 hectare / 540 acre nuclear plant.

Take a look at the ARMA zooming around the power plant in the video below.

All images and video courtesy NAVYA





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About the Author

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. TSLA investor. Tesla referral link: http://ts.la/kyle623



  • Wonderful story. We need to start somewhere, and this is a fine start. Thanks for finding this gem, Kyle.

  • heinbloed

    On average 3 passengers per day with a 15 seater ……… suits the atom power efficiency 😉

    • heinbloed

      Or 1 person doing 1 one-way trip per 8h-shift.

      Doesn’t it come back after being dropped-off, this person, one wonders …..

  • RobertM

    first autonomous electric vehicle in the world that people can actually buy and use — Article

    What country other then France allow this bus on it’s roads? It is important since it means this is the first autonomous vehicle that is allowed to be used anywhere not just in predefined test places.

    • Jenny Sommer

      It’s not even allowed on French roads 😉

      • RobertM

        If it isn’t allowed on any highway how in the heck can the be called the “first autonomous electric vehicle:” There have been test vehicles running on closed tracks for some time.

  • Harry Johnson

    The future means we’ll never have to raise our heads from our phones.

  • cocorico!! 🙂

    • Bob_Wallace

      Cocorico may refer to

      A Brazilian TV program, Cocoricó

      A French art magazine, Cocorico (magazine)

      “Cocorico!” (“cock-a-doodle-doo!”) is the French onomatopoeia for the rooster crow (“chant du coq” in French) and as such is a French victory roar, the rooster being one French emblem.

      “Cocorico monsieur Poulet”, a French-Nigerien film from 1974 by Jean Rouch.

      An Italian dance venue, Cocoricò (nightclub)

      A Japanese comedy act, Cocorico (comedy duo) or Coq au Rico (comedy duo) (ココリコ in Japanese)

      A Puerto Rican soda drink, Coco Rico

      Or it may just be random key pressing from someone who drank breakfast….

      • In this case that would be the onomatopeia for celebrating a good french achievement!! 🙂

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