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Rennes launches campus autonomous vehicle trial

Two driverless, electric shuttles from French company Navya are being used for the service

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The Navya shuttles are integrated into the public transport system, operated by Keolis
The Navya shuttles are integrated into the public transport system, operated by Keolis

The city of Rennes has launched a trial of autonomous vehicles on the campus of Rennes 1 university. It is being run by Keolis as part of the Star public transport network, which the shared mobility specialist also operates. The trial is running on the French university’s Beaulieu campus and is scheduled to continue until June 2019.

 

Driverless electric shuttles

 

Two driverless, electric shuttles are being used to deliver the service, manufactured by French company Navya. A special network line has been created for the service: line 100 Campus Beaulieu - Star La Navette. The service is free to passengers and runs from Monday to Friday.

 

Line 100 runs along a 1.3km route and is intended as an intermodal mobility solution for the area around the university. It complements services provided by line C4 of the STAR bus network and the future metro line B (at Beaulieu-University station). The shuttle runs partly on the open road with other heavy modes of transport, and partly on a road reserved for softer modes, such as bicycles and walking.

“For the first time, autonomous vehicles will be fully integrated into a public transport network”

Navya has a partnership agreement with Keolis. The vehicles operate without a driver, but have a STAR employee on-board to welcome passengers and who maintains contact with the control centre.

 

“For the first time, autonomous vehicles will be fully integrated into a public transport network,” said Emmanuel Couet, chairman of Rennes Métropole. “We are very proud of this achievement. Rennes continues to prove itself as a region of innovation and research, for the benefit of passengers and to have answers for the mobility solutions of tomorrow.”

 

Other autonomous trials

 

Keolis has already led other trials in partnership with Navya. Since the launch of the world’s first autonomous shuttle service in Lyon, France, in September 2016, the company has carried out more than 30 trials and demonstrations of autonomous vehicles which have now travelled more than 40,000km and carried more than 120,000 passengers both in France and internationally.

 

These include in: Paris (La Défense and Roissypole with ADP); Lyon (Confluence); Denmark (Aalborg); London (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park); Canada (Candiac, Montreal); Las Vegas (Atlanta) and Melbourne (La Trobe University).

 

“Keolis is proud to support the city of Rennes in its proactive and innovative mobility strategy,” said Laurent Senigout, director of Keolis Rennes. “The autonomous shuttle trial is an opportunity for the company to experience first-hand future developments of our roles and to the technology available.”

 

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