Navya Arma shuttles us around Las Vegas without a driver

It's totally unexciting, but that's just great in this situation.

The Navya Arma looks like other self-driving boxes we've been in before. Basically a little waiting room on wheels, it's an autonomous shuttle that you get into, sit down, and let it drive you to your destination. As we learned during a short test drive at CES today, using an Arma is as easy as it sounds.

The Arma demonstration did not take place on public roads, even though the electric vehicles are capable of that. In fact, the first active Arma shuttles took to the streets of Sion, Switzerland back in 2015. At CES, the Navya team set up a test track in a parking lot and let the robot driver navigate around fake construction cones and an employee who stepped in front of the moving EV. As expected, the Arma came to a stop without hitting the guy. You can watch the ride in our Facebook live video below, starting at about 14 minutes in.

Navya Arma
Navya Arma
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The Arma figures out where it is thanks to Lidar, cameras, and odometry. The first time the vehicle drives a route, it needs to be driven manually by an engineer using a joystick. Once the route is set, then the joystick is removed and the car doesn't have a steering wheel back up. Everything happens through the AI.

The Arma is powered by a 33-kWh LiFePO4 battery that has a theoretical run time of nine hours. It can recharge using wireless or wired technology and it takes between four and eight hours to recharge to 90 percent, depending on the equipment used. The box's top speed is 45 kilometers an hour (28 miles per hour), but the operational speed is just 25 kph (15 mph). So, don't worry about getting car sick in one of these.

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