Case Study: Full Support for Autonomous Mobility


The development and commercialization of intelligent transport systems is a very high challenge for everybody, as NAVYA knows: The French company develops and builds autonomous vehicles for personal transport. NAVYA places highest demands on the drive technology – and found help in Bavaria to meet them. ABM Greiffenberger Antriebstechnik GmbH, with headquarters in Marktredwitz, Germany, developed special electric motors for a new generation of shuttles. These motors distinguish themselves by a consistently high output, efficiency, and reliability to fully meet the customer's target specifications.


NAVYA has been developing innovative, environmentally friendly, sustainable mobility solutions since 2014. The company, based in Villeurbanne, Lyon, France, builds driverless electric vehicles that move autonomously on defined routes. ‘We created these shuttles for intelligent transport of people," said Thomas Morard (Head of the Development Office) at NAVYA. Nearly three years ago a new model came on the market: The NAVYA AUTONOM SHUTTLE, which is an autonomous vehicle with space for up to 15 passengers. It is used on public roads as well as on private properties.


NAVYA is enjoying continuous growth. At the end of 2016 the company employed 60 people; now that number is already more than 210. Production takes place at two locations: in France and the US. Customers include municipalities, universities, airports and exhibition organisers. NAVYA is mainly active in Europe, the US, Australia, as well as the Near and Far East. To date, more than 65 shuttle buses of the NAVYA AUTONOM SHUTTLE have been successfully on the go. Apart from buses, there are autonomous taxis: the AUTONOMS CABS were presented in November 2017 and will be deployed in the second half of 2018.


The Drive System Has To Be Top


NAVYA imposes enormous demands on supplier part quality. For the latest advancements, the drive performance played a particularly critical role. "It is crucial to be able to rely completely on powerful, reliable motors with a high efficiency," explained Thomas Morard (Head of the Development Office).


After that search ABM Greiffenberger was selected. The drive specialist has been firmly established in the French market for electromobility for years and maintains close contact with innovative companies and trendsetters in the industry. ABM engineers collaborated closely with their French colleagues in the project phase. ‘We quickly realized that a particularly high-performance and environmentally friendly motor was required here. This was an exciting challenge," said Wolfgang Benzing, E-mobility Manager at ABM Greiffenberger.


Fully Met Customer Expectations 


The engineers from Marktredwitz designed a robust three-phase induction motor specifically for the use in the NAVYA AUTONOM SHUTTLE. The motor has an optimized air cooling system and can be operated over a wide rpm range. In drive mode it has an impressively high efficiency. The motor has an output of 15 kW in continuous operation, the peak output is 35 kW. The peak torque is 130 newton-meters and the maximum rotational speed 8,000 rpm. The ABM-drive operates with an efficiency of more than 90%.


The three-phase induction motor from ABM completely won over NAVYA. "The drive fully meets our expectations. It is powerful, and we can rely on the fact that our passengers will be safely transported," explained Thomas Morard (Head of the Development Office). The French value the high reliability in everyday use. "In addition the motor is maintenance-free. This keeps the operating costs permanently low," said Aymeric Dubois (Test Engineer). Moreover it is particularly smooth-running and thus provides for low noise emissions.


The cooperation in the development phase also plays an important part for NAVYA. "The cooperation with the ABM engineers was very good. We were able to establish a real partnership NAVYA/ABM with them," stressed Xavier de la Chapelle (Project Architect). The mutual relationship was always open and solution-oriented. NAVYA looks forward to further cooperation with ABM in the future. This particularly concerns the development and production of more powerful motors for new applications.


Photo Captions:
Photo 1: Robust three-phase induction motors from ABM Greiffenberger perform impressively in autonomous shuttles from NAVYA.
Photo 2: The NAVYA AUTONOM SHUTTLE can transport up to 15 passengers.
Photo 3: Wolfgang Benzing, E-mobility Manager at ABM Greiffenberger.

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