Although we deal in buses powered by conventional fuels, we always like to stay informed when we hear of a cool company making new waves in the electric bus industry. Today, we’re here to tell you about a French startup that recently raised a whopping $34 million to fund the development of its autonomous electric bus.
Navya, a research company based in France, has been developing its self-driving bus, the Arma, for a full decade. The bus finally debuted in October of this year in its first trials in Lyon, France. In its first test run, passengers were treated to an autonomous bus ride that sped up to 28 miles per hour, covered five stops and lasted about 13 minutes from the first stop to the last.
Navya’s self-driving technology relies on a series of sensors that are embedded into the bus’s infrastructure. These sensors are what allow the bus to interact with and respond to its environment. While the current test path does not include obstacles like crosswalks, regular traffic, or lots of pedestrians, the success of the test will be a good indication as to whether or not this service will fit Lyons’s commuter needs.
In their latest round of funding, Navya has raised over 30 million dollars to expand their project internationally and continue additional research and development. They’re now collaborating with a number of other companies to see how they can adapt this bus technology for use in other major cities. We’ll have to keep an eye on Navya’s progress to see how their next phases of testing go.
In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a bus that still requires a human driver, head on over to our inventory page to see what’s available.