UAE-based sustainable and smart transportation company Ion has partnered with France-based autonomous driving systems provider Navya to operate and maintain Navya's electric and autonomous shuttles as well as promote its vehicles and related activities in the UAE and the GCC region. As an official distributor, Ion will engage with Navya’s existing and new customers on sales and after-sales support.
ION is a joint venture between Bee’ah and CE-Creates, the business incubation platform of Crescent Enterprises. Through innovations in green mobility, ION is working towards zero-emissions transportation infrastructure in the region. Fast gaining a reputation for its work, ION was appointed the official transport partner for major events in the UAE including the World Future Energy Summit 2019 and the 24th World Energy Congress 2019, hosted in Abu Dhabi.
The Navya Autonom Shuttle offers effective first- and last-mile transportation solutions, with optimized navigation and safety features. The autonomous shuttle also uses advanced guidance and detection systems and is enhanced with deep learning technology. Already operating in Masdar City since October 2018, the shuttles are also wheelchair-accessible and have a capacity of 15 passengers.
Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah and member of the board of directors at ION, said: “Our partnership with Navya stems from our commitment to revolutionize transportation in the Middle East region, making it greener and smarter, which is key to a better quality of life for cities and communities. This partnership will help ION on its journey towards environmental sustainability and the development of a zero-emissions transportation network in the UAE and wider region.”
Samer Choucair, director, CE-Creates, said: “ION’s purpose is to help create a sustainable transport infrastructure in the MENA region and beyond. Since launching ION with Bee’ah in 2018, we have successfully trialed the use of electric vehicles in shared fleets and now we plan to expand operations to other emirates. With Navya, we are bringing the concept of shared autonomous transport to the MENA region for the first time.”
ION’s technicians are currently undergoing training with Navya experts to ensure models of the Autonom Shuttle operating in the region provide a regular, dependable service.
Jerome Rigaud, COO of Navya, said: “Navya is excited to work with our partners at ION in the GCC region, starting in Masdar with its Autonom Shuttles, a globally proven first-and-last-mile transportation solution in operation around the globe. Masdar is an ideal environment to showcase the ways in which driverless vehicles integrate seamlessly into our everyday lives.”