Induct Brings First Commercial Self-Driving Shuttle to the U.S.

Your next trip around town may soon happen in a driverless, all-electric shuttle. At least that's what France-based Induct Technology envisions. Dubbed the Navia, the company's self-driving vehicle is the first to be made commercially available in the U.S. and could change the way you travel.

Powered by an electric motor, the Navia uses advanced robotics, laser mapping and a series of sensors to calculate its acceleration and rotation speed to quickly detect its position. It can also sense the location of nearby objects, the cart's route and the distance it has traveled, all in real-time. As a result, the vehicle can pick up and carry up to eight passengers, while navigating busy streets and avoiding pedestrians with ease, without the need for a set track.

MORE: Google Glass: What It Is and How It Works

Already available in cities in the U.K., Singapore and Switzerland, the Navia features a touch screen display from which users select their  desired destination, similar to an elevator. The vehicle then takes off on its own without a sound at a top speed of 12.5 miles per hour. What's more, when you want to get picked up by a Navia, you can simply call it from your phone. No word on if there have been any accidents related to the shuttle, but it has been in use in other countries for the last couple years. 

To recharge its batteries, the Navia parks itself on top of an induction charging plate that uses magnetic fields to send power to the shuttle. It's because of this that Induct says the Navia can run 24 hours a day without human intervention. 

The company claims its shuttle is perfect for heavily-populated areas including cities, college campuses, industrial sites, shopping centers, theme parks and more. Induct hasn't announced any partnerships as of yet, but we're hoping to see some of these self-driving transports in our city soon.

Daniel P. Howley
LAPTOP Senior Writer
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.