Renault Test-Runs Public Transportation Program Using Self-Driving Cars
Bullish on autonomous driving, the French automaker is piloting a program that uses a small fleet of autonomous cars that can be summoned via a mobile app, hoping to one day improve public transit for the people of French city Rouen
One of the most frequent fantasies about the future is having a league of fully automated cars to take people wherever they want to go. French automaker Renault is looking to make that dream a reality with the pilot program that the brand is preparing to run in the city of Rouen.
Renault is currently finalizing testing the system and is hoping to have the pilot underway by September of this year. The initial run will include four Renault Zero electric cars with a modified autonomous-driving system installed from partner company Transdev, as well as an autonomous shuttle vehicle. The cars can be summoned using an app, but a central dispatcher will still be able to keep an eye on what’s happening within, should a problem occur, and there will be a human driver within just in case.
The goal is to fill in the gaps in the French city’s public transit system, an initiative that could be especially useful for disabled transit users or those who who are sick or injured. There will be occasions, however, where customers can use the automated car to go the entire journey.
Renault isn’t the only company looking to get in on the automated car fleet. May Mobility has recently launched autonomous shuttle service in Detroit, and Waymo is looking to launch an autonomous ride-share service in Phoenix, Arizona. Ultimately, automated public transit hopes to better service the people while also potentially cutting costs long-term for cities that implement the service.