In a letter to stakeholders, French autonomous vehicle manufacture Navya has altered its plans to enter the fully-autonomous vehicle market and will instead focus on the production of Level 4 self-driving technologies for third-party developers. It will also continue its efforts in the development of self-driving trucks for the transportation of freight.
According to the statement, the company was now “aiming to be the leading player in supplying Level 4 autonomous driving systems that the company will incorporate in passenger and goods transportation vehicles. As a consequence, Navya is initiating a transition of its activities, moving from an integrated player to a player specializing in the supplying of software and sensor architecture to third-party vehicles.” It also said that it would “maintain shuttle production during this transition phase”.
Navya highlights the slow movement of legislation and development in the fully autonomous vehicle market and concedes the autonomous shuttle market will remain experimental for the next 24 months until the safety driver is removed.
Navya reported total revenue of €6.1m (US$6.8m) for the first half of 2019 (H1), down 32% compared with the same period in 2018. This was primarily due to the sale of 18 Autonom Shuttle vehicles in H1 2019, compared with 36 in the first half of 2018.
In contrast, the company’s service revenues recorded growth of 31% in H1 2019, with sales of €1.2m (US$1.3m), accounting for 19% of total revenues versus 9.9% in the first half of 2018.
“I firmly believe that the autonomous mobility sector represents the future of goods and passenger transportation, as illustrated by the increasing intensification of our ecosystem,” said Navya’s CEO Étienne Hermite. “Its wide-scale implementation is, however, taking longer than anticipated at the time of our initial public offering. The market is still in an experimentation phase, as complete autonomy has not yet been achieved, the regulatory framework has yet to be uniformly established and economic models are continuing to evolve.
“We have decided to adapt our business model: thus, we will now provide our technology to industrials who want to make their vehicles autonomous [goods and passenger transportation]. Thanks to this new orientation, I am convinced that the teams’ commitment and our technological leadership will be decisive assets that will enable us to seize market opportunities and make Navya a world leader in autonomous driving systems.”