Driverless vehicle manufacturer Navya will set up its Asia-Pacific HQ and manufacturing facility in Adelaide, following discussions between the driverless vehicle company and the South Australian Government.
Navya, which manufactures 100 per cent driverless electric ARMA Shuttles that can carry up to 15 people, says it is attracted by South Australia’s carbon neutral and renewable energy focus which aligns with its own global interests.
The French firm currently has manufacturing operations in Lyon, France and Detroit, Michigan and a plant in Adelaide would secure operations in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
“For us, it is a natural progression in our growth strategy and we are delighted to have been able to lay the groundwork of a partnership agreement with the government of South Australia,” said Navya CEO Christophe Sapet in a statement.
South Australia hosted the first demonstration of a driverless vehicle in Australia on the South Eastern Freeway in 2015, and Adelaide hosted the inaugural International Driverless Cars Conference in November 2015.
In early 2016, SA became the first Australian state to permit driverless vehicle testing on Australian roads.
Premier Jay Weatherill said establishing a driverless car vehicle operation in South Australia is the perfect bridge connecting the state’s past in traditional vehicle manufacturing and its future in advanced manufacturing in a clean, carbon neutral environment.
“South Australia is already leading the nation in driverless vehicle technology and this is the next logical step,” he said. “I look forward to partnering with Navya, as we work towards establishing their Asia-Pacific manufacturing operations here in South Australia.”
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