- Rouen, June 26, 2018: 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.
Users can call a vehicle in real-time from the smartphone app.
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.
A unique public-private partnership shaping the future of shared mobility solutions
Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab embodies a joint commitment by all partners to invest in the future of mobility by pooling their respective expertise and cutting-edge capabilities in support of a pioneering drive to develop innovative, sustainable transportation solutions.
The city of Rouen and the Normandy region aim to offer Norman people an innovative new service that is a first in Europe and an initial step toward developing a state-of-the-art industry cluster dedicated to future mobility solutions.
Banque des Territoires sees the experiment as a tangible showcase for the “Smart City” initiative launched in November 2016 to help roll out innovations in cities and regions. Banque des Territoires teams have supported from the start this innovative project with upstream engineering to help structure the group of partners.
Transdev is a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts and brings a wealth of expertise to the project as a provider of transportation services (operation, fleet management and customer relations) and its technologies for autonomous transit systems (supervision, user app, embedded software and smart infrastructure).
Groupe Renault is a European leader in electric vehicles and has a wealth of expertise as a carmaker and provider of smart, autonomous technologies and mobility services. The project is part of the group’s strategy of offering automated, on-demand mobility services as of 2022.
Matmut Group, historically based in the Rouen area, offers insight into issues related to auto insurance to help understand how self-driving cars will affect the future of mobility and the responsibilities these changes will bring.
A groundbreaking initiative to promote shared mobility using autonomous vehicles as part of an existing public transportation system in and around the city of Rouen
The pioneering project is unique in its comprehensive drive to build a “complete” autonomous transportation system by testing innovative technologies able to create an all encompassing transportation system and provide an open-road service at speeds equivalent to those of conventional vehicles while ensuring passenger safety.
The system includes a user app to request transportation, along with a fleet control room, smart infrastructure and secure telecommunications networks. The operator can monitor the fleet from the control room and take action where needed to reduce the speed of vehicles or bring them to a halt. Audio and video communications between passengers and the control room will also be possible at any time.
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.