Autonomous mobility systems company Navya will conduct a platooning demonstration of two of its Autonom shuttles at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. This will be the first time any such project has taken place at a US airport.
Navya was awarded the trial period following a request for innovation under a new initiative created by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages airports within the two states, including JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International Airport.
From October 17-21, 2022, the two Navya shuttles will undergo an initial trial period in a parking area of the airport that is closed to the general public. Various configurations will be tested, including the platooning of the Navya shuttles.
A safety operator will be on board the autonomous shuttles at all times, with additional supervision being provided by Navya’s Michigan-based control center. The Autonom shuttles benefit from eight lidar sensors to help with autonomous decision making.
If successful, the project may turn into a larger initiative with fleets of autonomous shuttles being used to connect passengers and their destinations within the airport.
“This demonstration is an opportunity to evaluate and test new and emerging technology to improve our customer experience,” said Kevin O’Toole, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “We continue to see the importance of offering customers innovative, world-class services in response to their needs.”
“The Port Authority has been laser-focused on cutting-edge technological advancements, and we are happy to be participating in this first-of-its-kind exploration of autonomous vehicle use in an airport application,” commented Rick Cotton, executive director of the port authority. “Our innovation group is also in touch with other transit and airport agencies around the country to establish best practices in the use of autonomous vehicles to provide 21st-century transportation options in the region.”
“We are delighted to be able to conduct a trial at an airport, which at the same time represents a first step in our collaboration with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,” explained Sophie Desormière, CEO of Navya. “Navya’s shuttles are adapted to a large number of use cases, and airports represent a good case in point. Not only do our shuttles offer a solution for the transportation of people, but our Tract also offers the same for the transportation of goods. The trial will also provide an opportunity to demonstrate once again the strength of our hypervision technology.”