Paris-based NAVYA launches first autonomous shuttle service on UK roads


NAVYA, a French autonomous driving system, has launched its first autonomous shuttle service on UK roads at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, a leading innovation center. 

The self-driving vehicles will transport employees and visitors 24/7 around these UK science and technology hubs. 

Located in Oxfordshire, England, the 700-acre Harwell Science, and Innovation Campus hosts more than 6,000 people and 240 public and private organisations in three areas of expertise: space, renewable energy, and health.

Partnership with AVIVA

The Pilot is being conducted in collaboration with AVIVA, which is developing insurance for autonomous vehicles and is operated by DARWIN, a British company specialising in the application of cutting-edge technological research in the field of terrestrial and satellite communications. 

DARWIN’s focus is to enable reliable connectivity on the move by combining terrestrial and satellite communications, with the aid of the European Space Agency, mobile provider O2 and satellite operator HISPASAT.

Autonomous driving systems

Created in 2014, Navya is a French name specialised in the supply of autonomous driving systems and associated services. The company aims at becoming the leading player in level 4 autonomous driving systems for passenger and goods transport. 

Since its launch, more than 180 units have been sold in 23 countries as of 31 December 2020. The Autonom Shuttle, the main development axis, is dedicated to passenger transport. 

“We are delighted to have registered NAVYA’s purpose-built connected autonomous shuttle for use on publicly accessible roads at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. This is a significant regulatory milestone on the road to making CAV mobility a reality, and an exciting step on our innovative journey to realising the potential of ubiquitous communications. We now look forward to announcing future trials involving this exciting new technology soon,” says Sophia Ward, Operations Manager at Darwin. 

Pierre Lahutte, CEO of NAVYA, commented: “We are very pleased to be part of this trial at the renowned Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. This new deployment allows NAVYA to strengthen its technology with an additional use case in a complex environment and to contribute to the development of insurance practices for autonomous vehicles.”