AUTOPILOT project: Stakeholders come together to reflect on economic models associated with services tested at the Versailles pilot site

10 mai 2019

As part of the AUTOPILOT project, a seminary entitled ‘The Internet of Things and Delegated Driving Technology’ was held on Thursday, 18th April at the Communauté d’Agglomération de Versailles Grand Parc. It brought together stakeholders in experiments conducted on the French pilot site in Versailles. The objective was to consider the opportunity to roll out the services being tested as well as construction of associated economic models.

Assessing the value added by the Internet of Things (IoT) to delegated driving

The AUTOPILOT project is a European Commission Horizon 2020 programme project. Launched in 2017, the project aims to assess the added value of technologies stemming from the Internet of Things (IoT) for driving assistance. Real-life experiments are being conducted at 6 pilot sites in Europe and Asia, including in the city of Versailles. VEDECOM Institute is ensuring the overall coordination of pilot sites and their autonomous vehicle experiments. It is also overseeing the implementation of use cases rolled out in Versailles. In that framework, VEDECOM has developed 3 electric, connected, and autonomous VFLEX vehicles (based on the Renault Twizy).

Two use cases examined at the Versailles site: urban driving combined with a car sharing and platooning service

Two use cases are being tested at the Versailles site. There is a ‘user mode’ for tourists who want to discover points of interest in the city of Versailles using connected and autonomous driving technology. It identifies vulnerable road users (such as pedestrians and cyclists) with connected objects that inform the vehicle of their presence. That helps the vehicle adjust its speed accordingly. These experiments were conducted in late April 2019. As for the other option, the ‘operator mode’, it employs platooning technology to send convoys of cars between two car sharing stations installed in the area as part of the project. This mode is used for automatic rebalancing of the number of cars at the stations. The experiments will take place in early July 2019.

The user mode: making driving safer through redundant information from vehicle sensors and the IoT

The experiment scenario for the user mode involves tourists who want to visit the city of Versailles. After reserving a connected, autonomous car sharing vehicle, the user starts a route through the city using manual and connected driving. Along their route, they receive tourist notifications via a connected tablet inside the vehicle and 14 BLE tags installed around the city by tourist points of interest (PoI).

Once the tourist arrives at the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses, they are invited to switch to the delegated driving mode. Along their way, they will encounter vulnerable road users with connected objects (such as smartphones, smartwatches, and connected bicycles). The objective of this experiment is to show the value provided by these objects in driving delegation technologies. Namely, the redundancy of information provided by connected objects and vehicle sensors will help make driving even safer. The demonstration is quite convincing. One example is when a vehicle going full speed is suddenly confronted with a cyclist without a connected object who is blocking their route. This activates emergency breaking and the vehicle comes to a sudden stop. Now imagine the same scenario when the bike has a connected object. This time, the vehicle starts to slow down long before it reaches the intersection where it will encounter the bike. The information sent by the bicycle have helped the car anticipate the presence, speed, and intentions of the cyclist and adapt its driving accordingly.

The operator mode: automatically rebalancing the number of cars at a station through platooning

The second use case involves the operator mode. This mode aims to facilitate the rebalancing of cars being shared. The experiments examine platooning or creating convoys of vehicles. A Fleet Management System identifies when and how to rebalance the number of cars at two car sharing stations in the city equipped with charging stations. This information is relayed on the operator’s tablet. The operator can then create a little convoy of autonomous vehicles that can automatically follow the trajectory of a lead vehicle that the operator drives manually. Data is exchanged from one car to another, but also between the vehicles and the infrastructure. Roadside units help the lead vehicle communicate with traffic lights to allow the entire convoy to cross intersections safely without being broken part (a feature called Traffic Light Assist).

A workshop to assess the opportunity for rolling out services and associated economic models

As part of phases 4 and 5 of the AUTOPILOT project, the VEDECOM Institute, the Communauté d’Agglomération Versailles Grand Parc, and their partners invited all stakeholders to a seminar on Thursday, 18th April. The seminar was entitled ‘The Internet of Things and Delegated Driving Technology’. The aim of the workshop was to assess the opportunities and obstacles to rolling out services used in the experiments and to reflect on a lasting business model to accompany these services. The day alternated between project and partner presentations, demonstrations, and interactive discussion times to allow participants to gain a clear understanding of the services in question and to reflect on the best economic models to go with them.


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