Inauguration of the Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab
The Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab experiment was inaugurated on 15 May 2019 at the SPRING event. It is a major step for the three VEDECOM teams involved in this large-scale project, carried out in partnership with Groupe Renault, Groupe Transdev, IRT SystemX and Université Paris-Saclay. The project aims to develop new autonomous mobility services on dedicated, public, and campus routes as a supplement to existing transport solutions at the Plateau de Saclay. It incorporates the latest technologies in on-board smart systems in vehicles, supervision systems, connected infrastructure, and secure telecommunications networks. VEDECOM has designed, fitted-out and developed the smart, communicative infrastructure and piloted the studies on human-machine interaction, covering various fields of research such as acceptability and user behaviour.
Testing a comprehensive autonomous transport system
Launched in 2017, the Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab project aims to to test a comprehensive autonomous transport system made up of self-driving vehicles (three Renault ZoéCab prototypes and one Transdev-Lohr i-Cristal shuttle), a fleet supervision system, connected infrastructure, and customer applications. The aim is to define the roll-out conditions for an autonomous mobility service at a larger scale. Launched in 2017, the Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab project was inaugurated on 15 May 2019 at the Spring innovation conference at Centrale Supélec by Mr Grégoire de Lasteyrie, Regional Special Advisor for New Mobilities and Mayor of Palaiseau; Mr François Durovray, Chairman of the Essonne Department Council; and Mr Michel Bournat, Mayor of Gif-sur-Yvette and Chairman of the Paris-Saclay urban authority. Mr Philippe Watteau, CEO of VEDECOM; Mr Thierry Mallet, CEO of the Transdev Group; Mr Arnaud Molinié, SVP of Mobility Service at the Renault Group; Mr Paul Labrogère, General Manager of SystemX; Ms Sylvie Retailleau, President of Université Paris-Saclay; and Ms Elisabeth Crépon, Director of ENSTA, were in attendance. It will continue until the first quarter of 2020.
The VEDECOM stand showcasing the Institute’s contribution to the project
In parallel to the official inauguration at Supelec, there was also a stand showcasing VEDECOM’s contribution to this major project. A virtual reality demonstration provided the opportunity to explain the Institute’s user-friendliness and user-experience features for the project: needs analysis, virtual reality solution testing, recommendations on user-friendliness and spatial organisation in the vehicles, work on internal and external HMIs, etc. These studies were crucial to deploying the autonomous vehicle, as Philippe Watteau frequently reminded us.
The experiment under the press’ microscope
The experiment was presented to around thirty French journalists and forty foreign journalists. They got an exclusive chance to test the autonomous taxis where, for this event, a screen allowed them to see what the car would “see”. They were also offered a visit of the central control room at Massy-Palaiseau station, with a presentation of the Lohr i-Cristal autonomous shuttle.
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