Autonomous Mobility Comes To White Bear Lake, MN

The city of White Bear Lake, MN is working with Navya – a French autonomous mobility company – the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), and AECOM on a one-year autonomous shuttle pilot.

The Autonomous Navya Arma shuttle will operate on a 2.5-kilometer (~ 1.55 mile) route within an area that has previously not had a shared transportation option. It is 100% electric and is equipped with an array of sensors that determine its location and surroundings. Though it is completely autonomous, a safety operator will remain onboard to intervene manually if needed and provide passenger service. The shuttle will run from Monday to Friday and will be free for the public.

“At MnDOT, we appreciate opportunities to collaborate with local communities and companies like Navya, Inc. to strengthen partnerships. Bear Tracks autonomous shuttles provide safe transportation options for members of the White Bear Lake community, especially some of our most vulnerable residents. The demonstration project also provides invaluable information that can advance Minnesota’s goal of safe and equitable transportation for everyone in our state, said MnDOT Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger”

AECOM will be the prime contractor for the project, with MnDOT providing financing for the project.

Sophie Desormiere, Chairman of the Management Board of Navya said: “We are thrilled to be working with MnDOT, AECOM and the Town of White Bear Lake on their first autonomous shuttle project in the area. Together, we will bring a mobility solution to many residents who, until then, had no shared transport possibilities. Our shuttles are examples of technologies but also concrete answers to mobility needs to connect people and allow them to easily access many services and activities. This use case in Minnesota will also, throughout this pilot year, provide us with additional data on the operation of the shuttle in highly variable weather conditions.”