The Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab project was initiated by Groupe Renault, Groupe Transdev, IRT SystemX, Institut VEDECOM and the University of Paris-Saclay.
Its purpose is to develop new autonomous (i.e. driverless) mobility services using dedicated lane and public and campus streets to supplement the existing Saclay Plateau transportation systems.
The Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab was inaugurated on 15 May 2019 at the SPRING 2019 innovation event by Grégoire de Lasteyrie, Île-de-France Regional Councillor, Special Delegate responsible for New Mobility and Mayor of Palaiseau; Francisque Vigouroux, Vice-President of the Paris-Saclay urban community responsible for Mobility and Transportation and Mayor of Igny; and Michel Bournat, Mayor of Gif-sur-Yvette and President of the Paris-Saclay urban community. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Thierry Mallet, Chairman and CEO of Groupe Transdev; Arnaud Molinié, Senior Vice President, Mobility Services, Groupe Renault; Paul Labrogere, CEO, IRT SystemX; Sylvie Retailleau, President of the University of Paris-Saclay; Philippe Watteau, Managing Director, VEDECOM; and Elizabeth Crepon, Director, ENSTA.
This first stage of the Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab project is one of the SAM4 experiments selected by the French government on 24 April 2019 following the EVRA5 call for projects under the Investments for the Future (PIA) program. The SAM experiments are part of France’s national autonomous vehicle development strategy. They are designed to familiarize local citizens and stakeholders with these systems, expand their use and build a regulatory framework that notably includes the safety approval process.
Testing autonomous mobility services designed to supplement existing transportation systems
The Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab project provides for:
- A late-night public transportation service using an autonomous Transdev-Lohr i-Cristal shuttle willserve Saclay Plateau neighborhoods from the Massy regional express station. The service will be provided outside the normal operating hours of the regular transportation systems and will use the existing dedicated bus lane.
Between half past midnight and 3:00 a.m., an autonomous Transdev-Lohr i-Cristal shuttle will serve four stops (Massy Palaiseau, Palaiseau Ville, La Vallée, Camille Claudel), covering a distance of nearly six kilometers in both directions and providing users with transportation between the Massy station and the Saclay Plateau to supplement the existing train, regional express, coach and bus services.
The service is designed to fit in with the existing transportation systems and extend service beyond their scheduled operating times. It will optimize existing road infrastructure and commercial speed by using the public bus rapid transit lanes. It will also use the existing stops located in the main neighborhoods between the Massy station and the Camille Claudel station in Palaiseau.
- 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 service will operate as follows:
- The user hails a car or books a car ahead of time by using a dedicated Marcel smartphone app.
- A prototype autonomous electric Renault ZOE Cab comes to pick up the user at the nearest pick-up point.
- The user enters the vehicle and is driven to the drop-off point closest to his or her destination.
- If need be, the vehicle stops on the way to pick up another passenger travelling along all or part of the same route.
The service is designed to provide a large number of pick-up and drop-off points, which do not interfere with other traffic and are located near (never much more than 300 meters from) the most frequented campus areas.
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