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This $290,000 ‘Robo-Taxi’ Is France’s Answer to Waymo

  • Navya expands from driverless shuttles into smaller vehicles
  • Bets on designing everything in-house to beat giants to market
An Arma autonomous shuttle bus, manufactured by Navya Technologies, in Paris, France, on July 19, 2017. 

An Arma autonomous shuttle bus, manufactured by Navya Technologies, in Paris, France, on July 19, 2017. 

Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Navya Technologies SAS will roll its robot-driven automobiles onto the cobbled streets of Paris in the next few weeks to try and beat behemoths from General Motors Co. to Alphabet Inc. at proving autonomous cars are safe.

The French startup’s 15-seater driverless shuttles have been dodging bankers and corporate executives in the capital’s business district of La Defense since July. Now, the company backed by investors including car-parts maker Valeo SA is manufacturing a smaller SUV to seat 6, that will start selling for some 250,000 euros ($290,000) in about a year. It unveiled prototypes of the so-called "robotaxi" in Paris Tuesday.