|Henry Ford Museum gets new historic vehicle: A driverless Navya shuttle|
Some say that autonomous vehicles are making history. For at least one AV, that's actually the case.
A Navya Autonom Shuttle, used by Mcity – the research partnership for connected and automated vehicles at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor – is joining a collection of notable automobiles at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
The addition of the shuttle to the museum – chock-full of exhibits dedicated to iconic vehicles – represents an intersection of past and present that outlines the evolution vehicles have gone through over the last century.
The Autonom was used as part of a driverless shuttle project focused on user behavior on the Michigan campus.
"Sitting alongside early automotive examples like Ford's Quadricycle from 1896, presidential limousines and iconic Americana like a 1950s-era Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – the Shuttle will be right at home," Jerome Rigaud, COO of Navya, said in a statement Thursday.
"While vehicles like the Quadricycle help to tell the story of a time when Americans transitioned from animal-powered transportation to engine-powered, the Autonom Shuttle will inform future generations about the era when we transitioned from human-driven transportation to computer-driven," he said.
The Mcity project, which used two fully automated, 11-passenger Navya shuttles on a fixed route around the research complex on the university's North Campus, launched in June 2018 and ran through 2019.
Navya, a French company, has also deployed a paratransit shuttle in downtown Detroit.
"The historic impact of automated vehicle technology could one day match or exceed that of the automobile itself," Mcity director Huei Peng said in the statement. "The Henry Ford is the ideal place to chronicle that transformation."
-- Alexa St. John