(REPOST: Inside EVs)
Renault and its partners are launching something called the Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab project – an on-demand/mobility service on open roads, complete with five autonomous electric vehicles for public use.
The idea is to put four autonomous Renault ZOE and one Transdev shuttle in service over three circuits, covering a distance of ten kilometres (6 miles), in Rouen’s Technopole du Madrillet (Saint Etienne du Rouvray) – in France.
Initially, the vehicles will be tested in the real world by developers. And then after that (hopefully), from spring 2018, an on-demand service will be open to the public for the next two years. Total budget of the project is €11 million.
It’s the first project of its kind for Europe, although the pre-set routes illustrates clear that we are still years away true public autonomy.
“Using a dedicated smartphone application available at each of the seventeen stops on the three routes, passengers will be able to book a ride in real time.
Developing autonomous transport systems requires a number of core competences including dispatch, fleet management, telecommunications, sensors and autonomous driving software, as well as expertise in vehicle manufacturing. Transdev, Groupe Renault, and the metropolis combine all of these competences.
The Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab will contribute strongly to the development and use of autonomous vehicles on open roads. Notably, it will:
Pilot the management of a fleet of autonomous, electric on-demand vehicles on open roads. Initially the tests will be conducted using vehicles with drivers inside them to take action, if needed. At a later stage, when all the technical solutions have been proven and legal barriers lifted, vehicles requiring no human intervention will be tested.
Improve the communication technologies between the autonomous vehicles and from the vehicles to the infrastructure, such as roadside equipment.
Test fleet management technologies in terms of real-time vehicle supervision and maintenance.
Analyse and continually improve the passenger experience.