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NAVYA to realise expansion of Masdar City sustainable mobility network

Following the results of a global industry competition launched during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week last year, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar, has selected autonomous vehicle producer NAVYA as the most technically and commercially qualified candidate, to help build the next phase of the mobility network of Masdar City.

The driverless vehicle network, currently serving the sustainable urban community, will be expanded along a new one-kilometre route.

Since 2010, the world’s first permanent Personal Rapid Transport, PRT, system has ferried more than 2 million passengers between the city’s North Car Park and the Masdar Institute, part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

Now, 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.

NAVYA was chosen from a global competition, based upon the sophistication and cost efficiency of its proposed technology. Demonstration vehicles, similar to those to be deployed at Masdar City in 2018, were on show at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, ADSW.

Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar, noted, "With its community of residents, visitors, business tenants and office workers continuing to grow, Masdar City will be at the forefront of sustainable mobility innovation.

"The rapid advances in mobility technology over the last decade have allowed us to re-examine the transport needs and road configuration of the city to find the best solution to serve its expanding population. This expansion will result in the world’s first outdoor, large-scale sustainable transportation system."

Electric and autonomous vehicles have made great strides in recent years, as battery performance, safety and reliability continue to improve. IRENA estimates that lithium ion battery costs will drop by as much as two-thirds by 2030, while new research, to be released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance on Wednesday at ADSW 2018, estimates that electric vehicle sales will more than triple by 2021, and that half of all vehicles sold annually by 2040 will be electric.

Commenting on their selection, Christian Le Borgne, NAVYA’s Chief Operations Officer, said, "We believe that we have created a product that is ideal for urban transportation autonomous, electric, safe, reliable, and economic.

"We understand the challenges of the climate, regarding battery performance and passenger comfort, and have customised our vehicle to meet the demanding specifications of Masdar City, and its residents and visitors."

Khaled Al Hashim, Executive Director of Surface Transportation, added, "NAVYA is an excellent partner to deliver the next phase of Masdar City’s mobility network. Masdar City is an ideal test bed for electric vehicle technology and other advanced mobility solutions using alternative energy sources, whether for public or private use."


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