ENGIE supports trial of autonomous electric bus in London

A trial of an autonomous electric shuttle bus is running throughout September in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

Rapid urban growth and increasing demand for public transport are challenging cities to develop smart new mobility solutions that are clean, efficient and sustainable. The vehicle offers an innovative solution for ‘first and last mile’ journeys in a busy urban environment that complements other forms of public transport.

ENGIE collaborated with London Legacy Development Corporation, Our Parklife, HereEast, Keolis and Navya to bring this innovation to the heart of east London. Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, took a trip on the shuttle bus on Friday 8 September commenting: “This is the sort of vehicle which could be used on the last mile of journeys, say from a railway station to and around a business park, on city park-and-ride schemes, on journeys between hospital sites, at airports taking passengers from the stand to the aircraft.”

The NAVYA ARMA vehicle uses state-of-the-art technology, including sensors, cameras, odometry and GPS mapping to navigate and detect obstacles in its path. This trial will provide the public with an opportunity to feel and experience a new and developing technology and provide important information to inform ongoing work on future mobility solutions. While the vehicle has been trialled in other countries, this is the first time it is being tested in such a busy public setting by a public transport operator in the UK. 

The Park has rapidly been established as an area of innovation and collaboration. World leading accessibility and sustainability standards have been embedded in its design and operation and it is recognised as a Smart, Sustainable District. ENGIE provides estate and facilities management for the Park and is the sole supplier of heating and cooling through its low carbon energy centres. This autonomous vehicle trial is the first in a programme of initiatives that will lead to the trialling of fully autonomous, road-worthy vehicles at the Park in real-world settings by 2019.

The free service can accommodate 15 passengers and will be limited to 5mph, although it is capable of travelling at up to 28mph. An operator and Park Champion volunteers will be on hand to answer questions but this autonomous, 100% electric vehicle is designed to operate without personnel on board.

If you would like to try the free service, there’s no need to book, just hop on at the Timber Lodge Cafe in the north of the Park. The service is running on the following dates and times:

ENGIE has committed to 20% of its vehicle fleet becoming electric by 2020 in the UK, with a long-term target of zero diesel vehicles by 2025. We offer a comprehensive range of clean mobility solutions globally that transform the way energy is used. We are dedicated to developing new sustainable services and delivering low-carbon, energy-efficient places and spaces, discover more of our green mobility projects on our Better Mobility Today site.