In partnership with the CNES and Matrice, VEDECOM presents Epleï, the innovative solution from the Smart Mobilities Lab

Created by the CNES, Matrice, and the VEDECOM Institute in October 2019, the Smart Mobilities Lab is a collaborative project that aims to offer new mobility solutions using data gathered from space. After just six months, the first company is on the point of being created through Epleï: an innovative solution that provides recommendations for appropriate sites for logistics stations using satellite images.

The Smart Mobilities Lab: fostering new companies offering solutions based on data from space

The Smart Mobilities Lab brings together a multidisciplinary team of space experts and specialists in mobility working towards a shared goal: to promote solutions to mobility needs of cities and citizens using observation data of the planet.

The strength of this initiative comes from the complementary nature of the various areas of expertise as well as the shared willingness to promote useful, relevant solutions, guide them to fruition, and support them as they become innovative companies that generate jobs and value for our society and regions.

Epleï: an innovative solution that uses space-based imaging for logistics

Epleï, the result of this unprecedented project, is a wonderful example of this cross-cutting collaboration liable to end in the creation of an innovative company that serves society’s interests.

Using satellite images, this solution provides recommendations for appropriate places to establish logistics stations. It has several advantages:

  • It can be applied anywhere in the world within a short time frame
  • It makes travelling and field studies unnecessary
  • Since the recommendations are automatic, they are not biased by human perception
  • The tool is extremely precise and flexible, meaning it can work at different scales

 

Just six months to come up with an idea for a company

After being analysed by the Smart Mobilities Lab teams, the project was selected for a proof of concept that took place between January and March 2020. Since the demonstrator results were very conclusive, a company will be created to carry the project to the market with a commercial launch tentatively scheduled for the second half of 2020.

The solution has already drawn the interest of many actors: transport and logistics professionals, financial and logistics real estate actors, developers, regional governments, and more.

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The French Government will mobilise 21 million euros to advance sustainable mobility

On June 4, 2020, the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation Frédérique Vidal announced that 21 million euros would be mobilised for the Institute for Energy Transition Vedecom for 2021 and 2022. The objective: to support technological innovation and French industrial sectors working on the mobility of the future.

According to Philippe Watteau, the Institute’s CEO, ‘this mobilisation of funds will contribute to financing a wave of new innovative projects in the sustainable mobility sector. These projects strive to advance technological transformation for low-carbon mobility. They also aim to come up with new mobility solutions that integrate what we have learned from the health crisis and more directly meet the needs of citizens and territories.’
‘This new commitment from the State will contribute to reinforcing the Vedecom ecosystem, which already has 58 members from different industrial sectors working on the mobility of the future: the auto industry, public transportation and mobility, logistics, road infrastructure, telecommunications, energy, aviation and defence, digital services and simulations, and insurance.
It will also help Vedecom cement its position as a leader in the European autonomous, electric and connected vehicle industry.’

In all, 450 million euros have been mobilised for Technological Research Institutes (IRT) and Energy Transition Institutes (ITE), grouped together this year under the French Institutes for Technology (FIT) Association to support industrial innovation and the scientific excellence of French research. This support is part of the State’s Programme d’investissements d’avenir (PIA) in an effort to relaunch the economy.

 

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Communiqué de presse de la FIT-French Institutes of Technology

Communiqué du Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche

The 16 IRTs and ITEs combine forces within the FIT association: Philippe Watteau – Managing Director of the VEDECOM ITE – takes his place on the new bureau

At its general meeting held on 29 April 2020, the FIT (French Institutes of Technology) association approved a change to its articles of association enabling it to welcome the 8 ITEs (Energy Transition Institutes) as members alongside the 8 IRTs (Technology Research Institutes). It is the result of a rapprochement strategy initiated two years ago by the French government. VEDECOM ITE Managing Director Philippe Watteau has just been appointed Deputy Secretary General.

Two new posts created to assist with the ITEs’ integration into the FIT structure

The FIT (French Institute of Technology) is the association created in 2015 by France’s Technology Research Institutes (IRTs) to improve the attractiveness of their public-private model at national and international level, promote dialogue between them and extend their reach. In 2019, at the French government’s request, it expanded to incorporate the ITEs after a rapprochement process lasting nearly a year and a half. Pending changes to the FIT, the ITEs were welcomed as “invited members”. To complete this now-confirmed integration and provide better representation of the ITEs within the organisation, the FIT has just created two new governance positions for two representatives from the ITEs.

A second vice-president’s position and a second secretarial position have been created. VEDECOM Managing Director Philippe Watteau thus becomes the Deputy Secretary General of the association, alongside Stéphane Cassereau, CEO of the Jules Verne IRT. The new Bureau was confirmed during a virtual General Meeting held on 29 April 2020. The new members, in consequence of their new functions, will also be ex officio members of the “Bureau of Managing Directors”, comprising 3 IRT directors and 3 ITE directors.

A rapprochement intended to lend significant extra power and influence to the French Institutes

Created from the French government’s Future Investment Plan, the IRTs and ITEs share the same fundamental principles regarding integrated multi-partner research, and the same commitment to bringing industrial and academic players together to find answers to major economic, social and environmental challenges by means of innovation, and operational and structural models. With their 1,300 industrial partners and 640 academic partners, the IRTs and ITEs use their close relationship to improve their power and influence and develop their work in France and abroad. The 17 French institutes can already boast nearly 900 patents and software applications, some 3,700 scientific publications, 115 technology platforms and 730 technology transfers. They are involved in over 190 European projects, and aim to rival the major world institutes in terms of influence.

Four strategic directions are planned for the next three years, based on the development of sovereign technologies that have been proven in the field, the launch of transverse cross-sector initiatives, joint offers on a French regional level and increased momentum in European projects.

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Tony Jaux, the vice president of the PSA Group, takes up his role as the new president of VEDECOM

On 6th December 2019, the Board of Directors appointed Tony Jaux as President of VEDECOM. He takes up this position on 1st April 2020 for a three-year period that may be extended. The vice president in charge of cockpit electronic R&D, infotainment, and connectivity in the PSA Group as well as manager of the connected vehicles programme at PFA, Tony Jaux succeeds Rémi Bastien from Groupe Renault.

“My arrival is in line with the continued support of industrial actors for the VEDECOM Institute since its creation in 2014 to help meet the automotive sector’s applied research needs. What the automotive sector needs now more than ever is to combine R&D efforts and increase their ability to compete with increasingly numerous and diverse actors in mobility sectors around the globe.

Working closely with public authorities, our institutional partners like the ANR, and the entire French mobility ecosystem, I will double down on our strategy to lead European-wide projects to boost the Institutes’s leadership and give it a multidisciplinary view of issues such as connected and autonomous vehicles, electrification, and new mobility and energy solutions.

I will also endeavour to supplement VEDECOM’s innovation tools to showcase its multidisciplinary excellence through open innovation, support for entrepreneurship, and commercialisation of technological building blocks and services that result from VEDECOM’s efforts”, states Tony Jaux, the president of the VEDECOM Institute.

After graduating from Supélec, a top-tier graduate school for engineering, Tony Jaux began his career in 1984 as a development engineer for Philips and later for Centaure-UP Systems. He then continued his career in the automotive sector when he was hired by Magnetti Marelli before working for the equipment manufacturer Johnson Controls between 2004 and 2011, where he notably worked in the electronics division as Engineering Director for Europe.

In 2011, he joined the PSA Group as vice president. He oversaw the development of powertrain computers and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and until recently he was in charge of infotainment development as well as being the manager of the connected vehicle programme at the Plateforme Française de l’Automobile (PFA).

His career path, which combines R&D, industry, and automotive experience, will help him rise to the challenges unique to the VEDECOM Institute, such as: promoting trust and cooperation; laying the groundwork for rolling out and accrediting self-driving vehicles; organising powerful, sustainable mobility with electric vehicles, smart charging, and smart grids; developing multi-modal mobility with artificial intelligence; and working on urban design and mobility options of the future, all while ensuring that people remain at the heart of all innovation efforts.

In additional to his technical skills, Tony Jaux brings to the table his knowledge of international industrial project management to support the development of research efforts and experiments conducted by VEDECOM in Europe and around the world.

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VEDECOM is exporting its know-how to Australia : a level 4 connected and automated vehicle delivered

VEDECOM Research Institute subsidiary VEDECOM Tech delivered a level-4 connected and autonomous vehicle to QUT (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia) on 6 June 2019. There will be a demonstration in Brisbane in August 2019.

At the same time, the VEDECOM Research Institute is launching a scientific cooperation project with QUT. This partnership will allow France and Australia to accelerate their research on autonomous vehicles in tandem.

The contract is based on VEDECOM Tech manufacturing and delivering an SAE level 4 autonomous vehicle, based on the Renault Zoé. This is the first supply contract for a French demo model outside of Europe. It sounds the starting pistol on an cooperative research programme between Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and VEDECOM Institute, both on the cutting edge of autonomous vehicles.

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Entropy, a premier start-up resulting from the VEDECOM Institute’s work on the analysis of mobility manager’s needs through artificial intelligence

What are the movement patterns ? Which modes of transport are used ? Which routes ? Entropy, the new start-up stemming from the VEDECOM Institute’s research work, offers communities as well as individual actors a tool for understanding, measuring, and analysing all mobility requirements within a given territory. By means of an artifical intelligence which models flows, Entropy makes it possible to acquire detailed knnowledge of a territory’s mobility in order to make decisions on and evaluate the necessary facilities or services, bypassing field surveys.

Entropy provides predictive multi-sources software that uses wide-ranging data sources : GPS from cars, demographics, transport networks…A display interface enables the observation of all journeys made within a territory during a standard 24-hour day on an interactive map.

The use of artificial intelligence has many advantages : reactive, the Entropy’s tool provides 100% coverage in France, and is as accurate as face-to-face field surveys, but at lower cost.

The startup has set an ambitious objective : to establish itself by 2022 as the leader in demand estimation for mobility managers in France.

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