Groupe ADP has launched a trial of two fully electric, driverless shuttles at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, the first of its kind at a French airport. Transport operator Keolis has teamed up with Navya, the French autonomous shuttle designer, to carry out the pilot project until July 2018.
The goal is to test how the automated vehicles will behave on a high-traffic roadway, as well as how they merge and pass within an extremely dense environment that includes many pedestrians.
The trial will take place at Roissypôle, the heart of the airport’s business district, and connect the suburban train station (RER) to the Environmental and Sustainable Development Resource Centre and Groupe ADP’s headquarters.
Edward Arkwright, deputy CEO of Groupe ADP, said, “Autonomous transport services will play a key role in our aim to create a new generation of connected airports. With this first trial, Groupe ADP is paving the way for developing this technology within our airport networks in France and abroad. In these constrained environments, autonomous technology is a lever for optimizing infrastructures for a new mobility offer.
“Our airports’ mobility needs are quite considerable – between the various terminals, between car parks and departure areas, or even airside – and could lead us to develop an autonomous vehicle fleet in the future. Within the framework of our Innovation Hub program, the future of mobility is being built in the heart of the airport city.”
The two shuttles are also accessible to those with reduced mobility and can carry up to 11 seated and four standing passengers. Each can reach 25km/h (15.5mph) on a 700m-long (2,296ft) track. The service operates from 7:30am to 8:00pm and is free. An on-demand shuttle service is available by scanning a QR code with a smartphone.
Youenn Dupuis, deputy CEO for the Greater Paris region at Keolis, said, “Keolis and the ADP Group have been working closely for several years now in order to develop mobility services adapted to the airport zones of the Paris region.
“Keolis is proud to be supporting the ADP Group in their new autonomous vehicle trial, which enhances the range of services that we already provide them with, including the management of the Roissypôle bus station, the shuttle buses for Orly Airport, as well as our partnership with Le Bus Direct, a premium coach service between Paris Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports.”
Navya CEO Christophe Sapet added, “The airport of the future is based on smart and specially adapted mobility solutions that are able to communicate with the infrastructure that we have set up at Roissypôle with Groupe ADP. Airports are areas where the traffic is extremely concentrated and so it is really important to manage and optimize the flow.”