Management & Operations

Transdev expands autonomous passenger shuttle pilot programs

Posted on June 28, 2016

Transdev is now operating Autonomous Vehicle (AV) passenger shuttles in multiple cities in Europe. Based on the success of those programs, the company has formed the Transdev Autonomous Vehicle Group to expand AV pilots and programs to North America. A key goal is to integrate AV solutions as a new form of shared-ride mobility.

Transdev’s current AV operations carry 4,000 passengers per day in two locations. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, Transdev’s 1.1-mile route links a metro station to a business park. In Civaux, Transdev operates the first commercial autonomous fleet in France on a 1.5-mile route at a nuclear power plant.

Additional programs are underway in two French cities. In the U.S., pilot programs featuring Trandev’s AV turnkey solution are in development in campus environments and other selected communities.

“We are bringing our unique position as a leading AV operator to North America,” said Transdev North America CEO Mark Joseph. “Driverless vehicles can plug multiple gaps that exist in current transport networks. They also create a new low-cost solution that opens mobility options that may never have been considered before.”

Transdev is working with AV manufacturers in North America and has built partnerships with companies such as Easymile, a leading manufacturer of AV shuttles for public transportation. Transdev is also partnered with Securing America’s Future Energy, a non-partisan non-profit working to reduce oil dependence. Transdev and SAFE have sponsored a study to identify the public health benefits that autonomous vehicles could bring as a result of sharply reduced traffic accidents and lower emissions.

The technology requirements of AV operations have spurred Transdev to develop proprietary algorithms for dynamic passenger-vehicle matching that facilitates real-time performance of mobile apps. Ongoing research is focused on blending the technology into additional pilot programs. The development of this new expertise is a natural evolution for Transdev — combining rapidly emerging technology with a proven history of operating safe, quality public transportation systems.

“This bold mobility solution is one more benefit we can offer to our customers all over the world,” Joseph said. “In addition to near-term opportunities on campuses, private-road throughways and AV zones, autonomous vehicles can supplement transit networks with first-mile last-mile service or augment options to underserved areas. With time, AVs in transit have great potential to become a genuine problem solver.”

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