Métropole Rouen Normandie, Transdev Group, Groupe Renault, Matmut—partners in the Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab initiative—are testing, with the support of the Normandy Region and Banque des Territoires, the first on-demand shared mobility service to use autonomous vehicles on open roads in Europe.
The service will be made available to the public in the final quarter of 2018 with four autonomous Renault ZOE all-electric vehicles and an i Cristal autonomous urban shuttle jointly developed by Transdev and Lohr.
The Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab service will provide extensive coverage in Rouen’s “Technopôle du Madrillet” business park in Saint-Etienne du Rouvray through connections to the “Technopôle” tram stop. The goal is to provide mobility solutions in an area to which conventional public transportation services are poorly suited, in a first-mile and last-mile approach.
The vehicles will run on three routes covering a distance of 10 kilometers, with 17 stops across the district and a link to the Rouen public transportation system.
The four Renault ZOE all-electric cars used in the project are already being tested on open roads and are equipped with autonomous systems developed by Transdev and Renault. The tests cover all considerations related to typical traffic conditions, such as other vehicles, intersections, rotaries and building exits. The fleet will also feature an i-Cristal autonomous urban shuttle jointly developed by Transdev and Lohr.
After a period of tests, this on-demand experimental service is due to be made available to the public in September 2018, subject to obtaining the necessary approvals, and will the run until December 2019. This trial will provide an opportunity to fine-tune the technology and gain insight into usage and take-up among local residents to enable necessary adjustments.
The system was developed through a partnership between Groupe Renault and Transdev, with each providing key expertise: Renault for the vehicle and smart, autonomous technology; Transdev for the tracking system, smart infrastructure and secure telecommunications. Matmut also covers all issues related to insurance, responsibility and future regulations.
Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab is an integral part of the public transportation system provided by the Métropole de Rouen transit authority. The latter’s close involvement in the project, which is also backed by the Normandy region, reflects a commitment among local authorities to integrate these new services and step up the transformation toward more efficient smart cities and better quality of life.
The initiative is underpinned by a drive to foster people’s acceptance of on-demand solutions that use autonomous vehicles while empowering the public to play an active part.