That's what we'll tell the AIs piloting shuttles like these, anyway. The human passengers will know that having a smart golf cart take you where you need to go on a closed campus or in a pedestrian city center is preferable to dirty buses, especially since the Navia is all-electric and does not need any sort of track or special pathway. You just tell it where you want to go (using a touchscreen with pre-determined stops) and the vehicle's "advanced robotics, laser mapping technology and sensors" can navigate through busy streets to get you there. The box has a top speed of 12.5 miles per hour can carry up to eight passengers. It even has wireless induction charging built in (hence the company's name, we assume), so you don't even need a human to plug it in at night. Heck, Induct says that the Navia is able to run 24 hours a day, but doesn't say how many underground charging pads you'd need to install to get this kind of service. The Navia is already in used in Europe and Asia, as you can see in the videos below.
Navia launches as the World's first and only commercially available driverless vehicle
Induct set to change the course of transportation and sustainability with advanced robotics, emission-free, driverless shuttle
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- (CES) – Induct today announced the launch of the world's first intelligent, electric and driverless shuttle, Navia, in the U.S. with a live demonstration of the vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. Already deployed with partnerships in Switzerland, the UK and Singapore, the Navia self-driving shuttle navigates streets congested with pedestrians easily and safely without the use of a rail or designated path. By utilizing advanced robotics, laser mapping technology and sensors that detect the vehicle's acceleration and rotation, Navia instantly calculates its position, nearby obstacles, route and distance traveled in real time, enabling it to carry its passengers quickly, safely and efficiently.
When users get on board they find a touchscreen offering the various stops. They select their destination on the screen, and the shuttle automatically sets off for it. Navia can be set on a specific schedule and route, or can travel where needed, when needed, letting users summon the shuttle with their smartphones. Navia is also the only driverless shuttle that needs no special infrastructure such as rails, or a designated path so it can work on any kind of site.
"Imagine a city without noisy, polluting buses, replaced by environmentally-friendly, robotic shuttle buses that can be summoned by your mobile phone," said Pierre Lefevre, CEO, Induct. "Navia is completely self-driving, 100 percent electric, emission free, safe and simple to use. It is the ideal solution for taking pedestrians that 'last mile' in city centers, industrial sites, theme parks, campuses, complexes and more."
Navia is the ideal solution for heavily-populated areas that need a simple, safe and environmentally-friendly public mobility solution: pedestrianized city centers, large industrial sites, airports, theme parks, shopping complexes, universities and city streets. With zero emissions, the Navia shuttle travels at speeds of 12.5 mph and can carry up to eight passengers. Fully electric, the vehicle is recharged by induction – using magnetic fields – without the need for cables or human intervention, allowing it to be self-sufficient and run 24 hours a day.
"The average cost of running a regular shuttle service with driver in the United States is $200.000 per year. With Navia, we are able to offer a safe, environmentally friendly solution and reduce the operational costs by 40 to 60 percent," added Lefevre.
"We have been testing Navia to shuttle students on our campus for the past year with the aim to implement a fleet in the near future. We have found it safe, quiet and environmentally friendly, plus from our studies, it's 40 percent less expensive than having a regular shuttle service with a driver," Philippe Vollichart, Deputy to the Vice-President for Planning and Logistics at The Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.
Live demos will take place during CES show hours January 7-10 at CES booth location LVCC, Gold Lot - DC-2.
For more information on Navia, please go to: http://induct-technology.com/en/products/navia-the-100-electric-automated-transport
Induct Technology was founded in 2004 near Paris, France as a robotic auto specialist focused on the development of embedded geo-location systems and wireless communications solutions. The company developed Navia, an automated public transport shuttle first announced in Europe in 2011 becoming the first commercially available driverless vehicle in the world.
Induct was the only European company invited to participate in the DARPA Grand Challenge race for autonomous vehicles in the Mojave Desert. The Navia self-driving shuttle is currently deployed in Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), a technical college in Switzerland; British company Oxis Energy, a pioneer in lithium sulfur polymer technology; the Culham Science Centre, a high-security industry park run by the United Kingdom Atomic energy Authority; and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.
Induct employs over 40 people with more than 25 engineers, fully dedicated to the development of high-tech and environmentally-friendly mobility management products and the associated services for operating commercial vehicle fleets. Many other research projects are under way in partnership with universities and industry leaders to exploit the technologies of tomorrow.