On 11 December 2019, Keolis, Châteauroux Metropole and the French Shooting Federation concluded a partnership agreement to authorise the autonomous vehicle tests carried out by the Group at the National Centre for Shooting Sports (CNTS), located near Châteauroux, in the centre of France. This partnership will enable Keolis to pursue its development in autonomous vehicle fleet management, by conducting operational tests aimed at improving vehicle operation and the vehicles’ capacity to adapt to different traffic environments in order to guarantee optimal safety and quality of service for passengers.
Located in Déols, near Châteauroux in the department of Indre, the CNTS is a private site spanning 80 hectares, closed to traffic, which will be made available to Keolis as part of this partnership. This domain will give the Keolis Group the opportunity to train new operators, test new autonomous mobility solutions and grow its expertise in fleet management of “fully autonomous” vehicles without operators on board.
Keolis' New Mobilities business unit and its subsidiary Keolis Châteauroux1 is leading the partnership with Châteauroux Metropole. From January 2020, the partnership will see the trial of a fleet of autonomous vehicles (“Autonom Cab”) to facilitate transport services to the CNTS for visitors. Accessible via a digital app, the fleet will serve different points of interest at the centre (car park, reception, shooting range, etc.).
1 Keolis provides support to Châteauroux Metropole in the management of its public transport network, Horizon. Keolis Châteauroux, which has operated the network for over 35 years, has 80 employees, operates 42 buses and undertook 5.4 million journeys in 2018
Keolis, world leader in autonomous shuttle operations
A pioneer in autonomous mobility, the Group deployed the first autonomous shuttle service in France in Lyon in September 2016.
Since then, some fifteen autonomous shuttles operated by Keolis have covered more than 80,000 km and carried more than 200,000 passengers on sites including:
- France: Paris-La Défense, Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, Lille, Lyon, Lille, Monaco, Nevers and Rennes.
- Australia: Adélaïde, Melbourne and Newcastle
- Belgium: Han-sur-Lesse and Waterloo
- Canada: Candiac
- United States: Las Vegas
- United Kingdom: London
Recently, Keolis also launched new shuttle trials in France (in Rennes and Lyon) and Australia (in Newcastle).