Navya’s autonomous shuttles to operate on open road in Japan
French company Navya has launched its autonomous vehicle, the Autonom Shuttle, in Japan, in collaboration with SB Drive Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp., and with the support of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
This is the very first time Japan give its approval to an automated vehicle with neither a steering wheel or pedals to ride on public streets, thereby opening the registration of new vehicles. For legal reasons a safety driver will remain inside the vehicle but its mission is limited to monitoring the experimentation and intervene in case of emergency.
Japan joins the long list of the 19 countries which gave approvals to operate automated vehicles on open road. They include FTSA (Finland), LTA (Singapore), MDDI (Luxembourg), MFK (Liechtenstein), MTES (France), NTC (Australia), OFROU (Switzerland), RDW (the Netherlands), SAAQ (Canada), SPF M&T (Belgium), STA (Sweden), TÜV Austria (Austria), TÜV Hessen & Rheinland (Germany).
Etienne Hermite, CEO, Navya, said: “Thanks to the Japanese government’s enthusiasm for automated vehicle technology and the great work achieved with our partner SB Drive Co. since 2017, we’re very proud to obtain the very 1st approval for an automated vehicle to operate on open road in Japan and proves that Navya and its partners are committed to make its smart mobility solutions readily available to customers with the safest possible service.”