First trial of autonomous shuttles at a French airport

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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A trial of two fully electric, driverless shuttles has just been a launched by Groupe ADP - the first at a French airport.

Located in Roissypôle, within Charles de Gaulle airport, the shuttles connect the suburban train station to the Environmental and Sustainable Development Resource Centre and Groupe ADP's headquarters.

The two shuttles, accessible to persons with reduced mobility, can carry up to 11 seated and 4 standing passengers. Each can reach 25 kilometres per hour on a 700 metre long track. The service operates from 07.30 to 20.00 and is free of charge. An on-demand shuttle service is available by scanning a QR code with a smartphone.

Keolis, the operator, has joined forces with Navya, the French autonomous shuttle designer, to carry out the pilot project until July 2018.

This trial represents an important milestone in Groupe ADP's strategy to become a key player in the autonomous vehicle marketplace. The itinerary of the two shuttles is unprecedented and presents great complexity: the aim is to test how the automated vehicles will behave on a high-traffic roadway, as well as how they merge and pass within an extremely dense environment that includes many pedestrians.

The intelligent road infrastructure system that uses traffic signals to communicate with the shuttles, which optimises the safe crossing of the road, is another world first.

Feedback from users, both employees and passengers, will be one of the trial's determining factors.

"Autonomous transport services will play a key role in our aim to create a new generation of connected airports,” commented Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP. “With this first trial, Groupe ADP is paving the way for developing this technology within our airport networks in France and abroad. In these constrained environments, autonomous technology is a lever for optimising infrastructures for of a new mobility offer.”

“NAVYA is delighted to be marking out the airport of the future together with Groupe ADP and Keolis,” said NAVYA CEO Christophe Sapet. “The airport of the future is based on smart and specially adapted mobility solutions that are able to communicate with the infrastructure that we have set up at Roissypôle with Groupe ADP. Airports are areas where the traffic is extremely concentrated and so it is really important to manage and optimise the flow.”

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