The technology powering autonomy

30 August 2017  •  Author(s): Arnaud Julien, Innovation and Digital Director, Keolis

The technology powering autonomy

Arnaud Julien, Keolis’ Innovation and Digital Director, introduces the technology behind the autonomous shuttles that Keolis and NAVYA have collaborated on since 2016. In this article he explains how that technology enables the shuttles to operate without a human driver, while providing safe and comfortable travel to passengers.

When we refer to smart cities or smart mobility, autonomous vehicles are usually mentioned as being the mobility solution of the future. With technological innovations, digitalisation, and advances in automation technology, however, we’ve already seen the emergence of autonomous vehicles for private and public use, meaning that the future is not too far away. In September 2016, Keolis partnered with NAVYA, a French technology company that specialises in autonomous transport systems, to launch the first electric autonomous shuttles in Lyon, France. Since then, the vehicles have been launched in other parts of France and also abroad. In North America, the vehicles have navigated the streets of Las Vegas as part of the 2017 Consumer Electrics Show (CES), and in May 2017, the autonomous electric shuttle went to Montréal for the Global Public Transport Summit (UITP). Following the unveiling, an announcement was made by Keolis, NAVYA and Urbis (Transport Urbain Les Moulins) to implement Quebec’s first pilot project into the Urbis network in Les Moulins municipality of Quebec, situated to the north of Montréal. A mobility solution for the future, the autonomous electric shuttle offers an easy, fast and efficient transport option for the first and last mile of passenger journeys. Designed with no requirement for heavy infrastructure, the shuttle integrates seamlessly into compre – hensive multimodal public transport systems, thus improving the efficiency of networks. This solution is also ideal for use in such places as airports, hospitals, university campuses, amusement parks, industrial sites and shopping centres.

The future is closer than ever before

Autonomous technology is gaining momentum. Connected vehicles with increasingly sophisticated driver aids on-board are already a reality. There are currently five levels of autonomy for vehicles:

1. Occasional assistance

2. Partly autonomous

3. Largely autonomous

4. Fully autonomous in specific circumstances

5. Fully autonomous in all circumstances.

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