Develop an autonomous mobility service offer in suburban and rural areas and provide new answers to mobility needs.
The question of the first and last mile is crucial in rural and suburban areas as many remain without a public transport offer. A municipality and a borough predominantly rural, the Rambouillet Territories region (58 000 inhabitants spread over 25 municipalities) is no exception to the rule. To compensate for the inadequacy of public transport and offer an alternative to the use (and possession) of a private individual car, Rambouillet Territoires started to develop carpooling and car-sharing services by equipping its fleet with Bluecar electric vehicles, comparable to those of the former Autolib service.
Building on this first experience of shared mobility, the region wanted to study the implementation of an autonomous shared shuttle solution towards the Bel-Air business area.
Test the operation of an autonomous shuttle and autonpmous vehicles for a MaaS project
Initially, we supported Rambouillet Territories to develop the framework and specifications of the Tornado project. The primary objectives were to connect the Gazeran train station to the Bel-Air mall by 2020, integrate partners after canvassing and selecting them, finding financing solutions and submitting the project to the relevant authorities that would issue the authorizations for the Field Operational Trial.
We later went on in assisting Rambouillet Territories to carry out the three phases of the trial, with the objective to develop and acquire operations know-how to roll-out autonomous vehicles :
We are more particularly in charge of the territory's beta testers community (http://www.rt78.fr/mobilab). We support them in learning and adopting emerging mobility systems, using a design thinking approach to develop future services that will meet mobility needs, particularly with other project partners, including the Renault Nissan Alliance and Exoskills.
In October 2018, the first autonomous car (a robotized Renault Zoé) drove in the Bel Air area during private tests.
This trial aims at demonstrating the socio-economic benefits, safety and advantages of the autonomous vehicle as well as the relevance of the transport offer scenarios and scenarios in a suburban environment. It takes into account the citizens’ willingness to adopt this mode of transport (attractiveness and likeliness to adopt) and provides a first feedback on the operation of an autonomous private passenger vehicle service and of an autonomous shuttle transport service shared inside the carpark of a mall.
This project is part of the research objectives of the France New Industrial program for the "Autonomous Vehicle Strategy". It will also benefit other territories that would like to replicate the Tornado processes and, thus, respond more quickly to mobility needs with low environmental impact, shared and autonomous vehicles services.