France, a window to the future of European mobility

2021.26.05
Photo Ariane5 maquette

 

The NAVETTY pilot project is autonomous shuttle service located on a site representative of a real urban area. Launched in May 2021, it will switch to a service with no on-board operator in 2022.

 

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Olivier Le Friec
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A three-year demonstration called NAVETTY is starting on the ArianeGroup industrial French site in Les Mureaux (78), west of Paris. The NAVETTY R&D project is supported by VEDECOM - R&D institute for energy transition in mobility-, ArianeGroup, Transdev Autonomous Transport Systems, EasyMile and the Yvelines County Council (CD78), which has strongly invested for make this project a success.

The aim is to deploy a fully autonomous mobility service with no on-board operators, using electric and autonomous shuttles, on a site representative of an urban area. The service will be distantly supervised via a supervision software from a local OCC, relying on connected road infrastructure. This step is a key and unique milestone in Europe. It will validate the technology and business model, which are critical to allow for the future deployment of a large-scale service that will start on Seine valley public roads.

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NAVETTY will rely on five R&D axes. The first is the main issue of the project: after Versailles Satory’s open road experimentation with extended perception by autonomous shuttles including an on-board operator, the goal is to switch to a mode with no on-board operator and a distant supervision. The other four are: cybersecurity, operational safety of the mobility system, smart and connected infrastructures and acceptability of the ecosystem.

For this large-scale demonstrator, the choice of the ArianeGroup site in Les Mureaux west of Paris, which covers an area of 227 acres, is ideal as it brings together all the complex elements of an urban area: road and pedestrian traffic, roundabouts, intersections and parking lots. This environment lends itself perfectly to preparing future transition to an urban scale. This autonomous shuttle service has also been designed to meet the needs of ArianeGroup to improve access to its facilities.

Distant supervision: a core technology for the switch to full autonomy

A new technology has been required to implement a mobility service of autonomous vehicles both with no on-board operator and offering the required service quality and safety levels. This technology is a software called Autonomous Vehicles’ Supervision and is developed by Transdev Autonomous Transport Systems. It offers three main functions: fleet management, system monitoring and customer experience.
Within the OCC located on site, supervision operators from Transdev Ile-de-France will be present to supervise the service in real time.

Cybersecurity and the operational safety of the mobility system: prerequisites

Cybersecurity is a central focus for the research carried out in this project. The challenge is to guarantee the safety of the entire mobility system and prevent any malicious acts.
Indeed, current autonomous vehicles include on-board technologies dedicated to perception, supervision and trajectory decisions. These faculties are made possible by sensors, processing and computing units which must be totally secured for passenger transportation.

Autonomous management of roundabouts: a technical milestone

The connected and intelligent infrastructure, including roundabouts and crossroad management, is developed by VEDECOM. The project’s aim is to improve the efficiency of the shuttles while crossing a roundabout. The infrastructure will be able to analyze the activity of vehicles and users while entering and exiting the roundabout. It will also be able to transmit authorizations to the shuttles, in order to allow better management of the crossing, with fluidity and safely: authorization or prohibition to enter, proposal of an optimal trajectory.

Acceptability of the ecosystem: a key issue to validate the model

Acceptability is a key issue to maximize the success of this unprecedented autonomous mobility service. This work package, carried out by VEDECOM, will consider the opinions of end users but also players in the ecosystem whose actions may have a direct or indirect impact on the service’s progress.

Transdev Autonomous Transport Systems is an integrator of autonomous transport systems, including supervision, autonomous vehicles and connected infrastructure. Transdev Autonomous Transport Systems provides technological tools and engineering services to local operators and cities, for the day-to-day operation of large-scale autonomous mobility services. Thanks to Transdev Autonomous Transport Systems, Transdev is leader in the operation of autonomous mobility services, with more than 3.5 million people transported in shared autonomous vehicles around the world.

This new project will allow us, together with our partners, to reach a significant new step in the development of autonomous mobility and the preparation of an efficient economic and social model. We are convinced of the central role of supervision to operate autonomous mobility services with no on-board operator, and we are proud to experience it soon on the ArianeGroup Les Mureaux site.

Patricia Villoslada, Executive Vice-President of Transdev Autonomous Transport Systems

About Transdev:

As an operator and global integrator of mobility, Transdev – The mobility company – gives people the freedom to move whenever and however they choose. We are proud to provide 11 million passenger trips everyday thanks to efficient, easy to use and environmentally-friendly transportation services that connect people and communities. Our approach is rooted in long-term partnerships with businesses and public authorities, and in the relentless pursuit of the safest and most innovative mobility solutions. We are a team of people serving people, and mobility is what we do. Transdev is jointly held by Caisse des Dépôts Group (66%) and the RETHMANN Group (34%). In 2019, with 85,000 employees in 18 countries, the Group generated total revenues of 7.4 billion euros

For more information: www.transdev.com or download the MY Transdev app from the App Store or Google Play.

About Vedecom:

The VEDECOM Institute is a public-private partnership foundation for the Energy Transition (French ITE) dedicated to sustainable and innovative mobility, more environmentally-friendly, autonomous and with improved sharing. It is missioned by the French State to support technological innovation and French industry. Based on an unprecedented collaboration more than 50 players, it gathers academic establishments, local authorities and private actors involved in mobility evolution: automotive, transport and mobility, logistics, road infrastructure, telecommunications, energy, aeronautics and defence, digital services and simulation, insurance. This trusted third-party central role helps its members to accelerate together innovation and the deployment of new solutions. Threw three multidisciplinary R&D axes - electrification, connected and automated vehicle, new mobility and energy solutions – VEDECOM brings a systemic vision of the vehicle, its environment and the deployment of new solutions. Created in 2014 as part of the “Investing in the Future Programme”. VEDECOM is contributing to the “Self-driving Vehicle Plan” that forms part of the New Industrial France project (NFI). VEDECOM has 500 publications and 80 theses to its credit, as well as 2,500 persons trained as part of its training programme. With an annual budget of €22, it has 180 employees.

For more information: www.vedecom.fr

About Ariane Group:

ArianeGroup is lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launchers, responsible for design and the entire production process, including marketing by its Arianespace subsidiary, as well as for the missiles of the French oceanic deterrent force. The joint venture, equally owned by Airbus and Safran, employs around 7,600 highly qualified staff in France and Germany. ArianeGroup develops and supplies innovative, competitive solutions for civil and military space launchers, with expertise in all aspects of state-of-the-art propulsion technologies. ArianeGroup and its subsidiaries enjoy a worldwide reputation as specialists in the field of space applications equipment and propulsion, and their expertise also benefits other industrial sectors. Group revenues in 2020 amounted to €2.7 billion.

For more information : www.ariane.group

About Yvelines County:

The Yvelines county council is a local institution serving nearly 1.4 million inhabitants spread over 259 towns. It provides support for each and every Yvelinois throughout the different stages of life. Its main structuring projects are : social support, regional planning, mobility and education through middle schools. The Yvelines county council works to improve the daily lives of Yvelinois through its council meetings made up of 42 counselors and its 3 800 employees spread across the county. In 2019, the County has invested 420 million € (287 €/inhabitant). The main investments concern infrastructures and public transport, middle schools, solidarity and social actions, territorial attractiveness and urban development projects.

For more information: www.yvelines.fr

About Easy Mile:

EasyMile provides software and complete solutions for driverless mobility and goods transportation. It partners with blue-chip manufacturers to autonomize their vehicles with award-winning technology built on safety-by-design, ready for deployment today, with clear client benefits. It’s people mover solution, the EZ10, is the most-deployed driverless shuttle in the world connecting transport in both private and public locations. For material handling, TractEasy is a tow-truck solution optimizing supply chains at factories and industrial sites. Since 2014, the company has become known for quality delivery and real-world deployments. EasyMile’s proven technology has already driven autonomous vehicles in 300+ locations in more than 30 countries. EasyMile benefits from investors who are also technical partners: Alstom, Continental and Bpifrance. This unprecedented combination not only provides solid funding but also a powerful technology roadmap. EasyMile benefits from investors who are also technical partners, Alstom and Continental. They are joined by financial shareholders Bpifrance, Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P., McWin and NextStage AM. This unprecedented combination not only provides solid funding but also a powerful technology roadmap.

For more information: www.easymile.com

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