The French airport operator, Groupe ADP, has launched a trial of two fully electric, driverless shuttles – the first at a French airport. Located in the heart of the airport’s business district, Roissypôle, they connect the suburban train station (RER) to the Environmental and Sustainable Development Resource Centre and Groupe ADP’s headquarters. Keolis, the operator, has joined forces with Navya, the French autonomous shuttle designer, to carry out the pilot project until July 2018. ADP says this initial trial represents an important milestone in its strategy to become a key player in the autonomous vehicle ecosystem. It notes that 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. An ‘intelligent’ road infrastructure system that uses traffic signals to communicate dynamically with the shuttles has been set up, a world first, in order to optimise the crossing of the road in complete safety. Feedback from users (employees and passengers) is also one of the trial’s determining factors.
The two shuttles, accessible to persons with reduced mobility, can carry up to eleven seated and four standing passengers. Each can reach 25 km/h on a 700-metre-long track. The free service operates from 7:30am to 8:00pm and an on-demand shuttle service is available by scanning a QR code with a smartphone.