Renault, alongside the Transdev Group, IRT SystemX, Institut VEDECOM and the University of Paris-Saclay, has launched the Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab project.
The new autonomous public transport system will focus on developing new mobility services using dedicated lane and public and campus streets to supplement the existing Saclay Plateau transportation systems.
This first stage of the Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab project is one of the French Government’s ‘SAM’ experiments, the country’s national self-driving vehicle development strategy. These tests are designed to familiarise local citizens and stakeholders with autonomous technology, expand their use and build a regulatory framework that notably includes the safety approval process.
The project involves a night transportation service using an autonomous Transdev-Lohr i-Cristal shuttle that will serve the Saclay Plateau neighbourhoods from the Massy station. The service will be provided outside the normal operating hours of the regular transportation systems and will use the existing dedicated bus lane.
A daytime on-demand car service using autonomous Renault ZOE Cab prototype vehicles will be provided on the Paris-Saclay urban campus. People travelling to the campus by public transportation can then use it to freely move around the site.
The Saclay Plateau mobility system will help enhance the area’s international image. Demand will grow, with the number of Saclay Plateau users and residents expected to exceed 50,000 in 2022 (versus 25,000 in 2016) and some 80,000 in the 2029 timeframe. The number of students is expected to reach 20,000 in 2022 and about 25,000 in 2029.
The Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab project is an integral part of this approach. It is designed to demonstrate the suitability of autonomous mobility solutions as part of an existing transportation network, in terms of their performance, complementarity with existing systems and economic viability.