Autonomous Driverless shuttles operate without operating staff on-board, in Europe’s largest business district
On 3 July 2017, Valérie Pécresse, President of the Greater Paris region and Ile-de-France Mobilités (the region’s public transport authority, formerly known as STIF, and Patrick Devedjian, President of the Hauts-de-Seine and ‘Defacto’ (http://www.ladefense.fr/en), the public body which manages the La Defense district, launched together with Keolis and Navya, a six-month trial of this new mobility solution on the esplanade of La Defense in Paris. The aim of the trial is to test this autonomous, electric, public transport service under real conditions. Three shuttles developed by Navya () and operated by Keolis will run seven days a week until the end of 2017. In a world-first, the shuttles will operate for part of the trial without any operating staff on-board.
An innovative mobility service, specifically tailored to La Défense
STIF and Keolis aim to answer an unmet demand of La Défense’s public transport users: provide a service covering the first or last kilometres between the metro or suburban train station and the place of departure or destination. The Navya shuttles operated by Keolis will enable the business district’s 500,000 daily visitors to move around Europe's largest pedestrian zone faster. Two routes, adapted to the rhythm of visitors to the business district, will be proposed: a weekday service connecting the Valmy and Faubourg de l'Arche districts with the Grande Arche de La Défense, and a service which will run on weekends and public holidays, serving the Esplanade de La Défense.
One trial, three objectives
This experimental initiative is the first step in a wide scale autonomous vehicle offer envisaged for the Ile-de-France region by STIF, Keolis and Navya. The trial has three main objectives:
- Investigate the possibility for autonomous driverless shuttles to safely operate in an area highly frequented by pedestrians and cyclists
- Test the general public’s reaction to, and acceptance of, this new mobility service
- Implement an evolutive service, with the absence of on-board personnel during part of the trial.
Preparing the future of mobility in the Ile-de-France region
By bringing STIF its experience in the deployment of autonomous shuttles acquired in Lyon, Las Vegas and Montreal, Keolis is supporting France’s largest public transport authority in its drive to innovate to improve the daily life of travellers in the Greater Paris area. This new transport mode is adapted to densely frequented zones, environmentally friendly and flexible to manage. The autonomous shuttles will help STIF extend its transport offer, increase service quality (operating hours, frequency, etc.) on certain routes, or create, as in La Défense, new lines.
I have chosen to make innovation a priority in improving the daily lives of public transport users in the Greater Paris region. The trial at La Défense embodies this innovative approach, and will help prepare the future of mobility in Ile-de-France. It’s a world first, providing a totally autonomous transport service in a public space, without any on-board personnel
We are proud to be working with Ile-de-France Mobilités in introducing this innovative transport service to the largest business district in Europe. Shared, electric and autonomous transport solutions are an essential component of tomorrow’s mobility.