Gaussin has been conditionally awarded a “refundable advance” of €5.5M Euro, and a grant of €0.3M Euro as the leader of a consortium project called “VASCO” (Automated Vehicle for Supervised Containers”. Other participants in the consortium are BA Systems, which was awarded €2.1M, the Ecole Centrale de Nantes (€0.3M) and the University of Lille (€0.6M).
The total project budget is €8.8M, and the goal is to develop the “first 100% automated system with guidance without infrastructure”, referring to a navigation system that needs no hardware or equipment fixed into the ground to drive and position a Gaussin automated vehicle.
The funding is contingent upon three conditions:
- A framework agreement for the consortium being in place (which has been met)
- Contracts being in place relating to intellectual property for fully electric power packs, which Gaussin expects before the end of February 2016
- Gaussin SA increasing its capital by €6M
Gaussin has advised that its Board continues to negotiate with several potential investors. Earlier this month the Board approved a preferential rights agreement to allow two companies “of international scope” to invest in Gaussin, both with and without preferential share rights.
Gaussin had earlier reported that ZPMC intended to invest in the company, but ZPMC has advised WorldCargo News that only preliminary talks were held, and it has no plans to invest in Gaussin.