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A Navya driverless electric shuttle.
A Navya driverless electric shuttle.

French autonomous vehicle company Navya is planning to establish an Asia Pacific manufacturing facility in Adelaide, South Australia, noting the government's backing of autonomous vehicle technology as the reason for its choice.

"We are delighted to have been able to lay the groundwork of a partnership agreement with the Government of South Australia," said Navya CEO Christophe Sapet.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said South Australia was already leading Australia in driverless vehicle technology and this was the next logical step.

"Establishing a driverless car vehicle operation in South Australia is the perfect bridge connecting our past in traditional vehicle manufacturing and our future in advanced manufacturing in a clean, carbon neutral environment," he commented.

South Australia has established a AU$10 million Future Mobility Lab Fund to drive local development of autonomous vehicle technology and was the first state in Australia to legalize on-road trials of autonomous vehicles.

In March the South Australian Government announced AU$5.6m in funding for driverless shuttle and pod trials to take place in Adelaide.

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