On January 14, 2019, CNES signed a partnership agreement with VEDECOM to put space science at the service of autonomous vehicles and sustainable mobility. VEDECOM, a French R&D institute dedicated to the energy transition and the mobility of the future, is particularly focussed on autonomous vehicles (CAV). This partnership is part of the Connect by CNES program, which aim is to promote and develop the use of space technologies. In the field of autonomous vehicles, CNES provides its skills for the critical Localisation and Navigation function, based on GNSS satellites geolocation.

Improving localisation methodology with mixt signals

A first project was launched in the fall of 2019, following the signature of a contract with GUIDE, a geolocation test laboratory, specializing in the characterization of GNSS signals from the constellations Galileo, GPS, Glonass and Beidou. The aim was to analyze VEDECOM autonomous vehicle test circuits on a road open to public traffic, to characterize them regarding quality of reception of satellite signals. Final goal: to improve VEDECOM general methods of autonomous vehicle location.

EPLEÏ: a first 1st innovative solution from the Intelligent Mobility Lab

In October 2019, the Intelligent Mobility Lab was launched via a contract with Matrice co-funded by VEDECOM and CNES. Objective: to invent new uses and services in the field of intelligent mobility through the use of Very High Spatial Resolution satellite images (50 cm). After 6 months of work, an innovative solution for the logistics sector was selected and is the subject of a proof of concept (POC) between January and March 2020. This solution consists of providing, without geographic displacement, within a time limit. short and for any point on the planet, critical information to help in the decision to locate logistics warehouses. It was awarded as part of a call for projects from the Ile de France Region presented on July 1, 2020 and gave rise to the creation of the EPLEÏ company. This first service will be completed and enriched progressively, with features using in particular artificial intelligence, and new products such as a geographic information system (GIS) and an interactive map.

Improving the methods of High Definition mapping generation for autonomous vehicle localization

A new CNES-VEDECOM project has just started. It aims to create a reference map by using test routes in the city of Versailles. Thanks to a contract with GEOSAT, specialized in mobile mapping and expert in high precision cartography. Objective: to improve the methods of cartography creation and autonomous vehicle location developed for several years at VEDECOM, in order to offer technological solutions and generate massive adoption.

Using satellite pictures for autonomous vehicle

In the end, this partnership enabled VEDECOM to improve its methods of locating autonomous vehicles and CNES to support a concrete and value-added use of space for the field of mobility, not to mention the creation of the start-up EPLEÏ ! Obviously, space industry has its part to play in the field of mobility and especially in the deployment of autonomous vehicles. After these first dynamic and productive steps, CNES and VEDECOM are considering another project related to the analysis of logistics infrastructure by using satellite images: to be continued…


To go further : Discover Connect by CNES, a tool created by CNES to set up links with start-ups, economic and institutional players, in order to facilitate access to space science and its benefits.

Légende : Creation of a reference HD mapping CNES, GEOSAT and VEDECOM. Dense lidar data processing steps, from raw data to classification. Data from VEDECOM test circuits in the city of Versailles.