Keolis started shuttle services of three electric autonomous vehicles, developed by Navya, in the La Defense Paris business district, which will run until the end of the year. The service will provide a new “first and last mile” mobility solution for the 500,000 people travelling to and from La Defense every day. The free shuttles will service key sites along a pedestrian-only esplanade, and are accessible to passengers with reduced mobility.

The aim of the trial is to test these vehicles under realistic operating conditions. While Keolis and Navya have already been trialing the shuttles in Lyon, France since September 2016, this is the first time that these vehicles will operate on a public road without personnel on-board.

Each shuttle can accommodate up to 15 passengers. Keolis has already identified a range of sites where these vehicles would be ideal for use including airports, hospitals, university campuses, tourist attractions, industrial sites, and shopping centers. While the shuttle can travel at up to approximately 13 miles per hour, in a pedestrian and densely populated area like La Defense, the shuttle will run at an average speed of approximately four miles per hour. The three shuttles will run seven days a week, including public holidays. During peak hours, shuttles will depart every 10 minutes and every 20 minutes in the off-peak periods.

A number of other autonomous vehicle trials are already planned in the coming months in the Greater Paris region, including in the Bois de Vincennes, east of Paris. If these trials are successful, this shuttle service could become a permanent mobility solution in the region, with additional services and the creation of new lines. Internationally, Navya’s autonomous, electric shuttles have already been trialed in Las Vegas in January 2017 and will soon be tested in Terrebonne, Canada; Victoria, Australia; and Aalborg, Denmark. Keolis is also currently working on 10 different autonomous vehicle projects across the world.

Keolis has partnered with Navya since 2016. In October 2016 it became a minority shareholder of Navya.

Autonomous vehicles and their impact on transportation operations will be discussed during BusCon's Keynote Address in Indianapolis Sept. 11 to 13. For information, click here.

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