Renault to Trial Autonomous Tech on Paris University Campus

Renault is putting an autonomous bus and a fleet of autonomous Renault Zoes into service in the university quarter in Paris, the company has announced.

The bus service, which will use a Transdev-Lohr built i-Cristal autonomous bus, will be offered between the hours of midnight and 3am when public transport is not in service. It will cover a loop of around 3.7 miles, stopping at Saclay Plateau, the research, engineering and business-intensive area of the French capital, and the Massy train station. It will run in normal bus lanes, at “commercial speeds” and will be fully autonomous.

Meanwhile three self-driving Renault Zoes will act much like a ride-sharing service for the Paris-Saclay area picking up and dropping off students and employees at predetermined locations during the day. Users can book a car on a smartphone app and the cars will stop to pick up other riders who share a similar route to those already in the car.

Renault is keen to stress this is an experiment, designed to test and find the requirements for an autonomous public transport service on a larger scale. It’s calling this trial the ‘Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab’ designed to complement the regular public transport offerings in the area. However, because the service is experimental, it’s not open to everyone. Renault will progressively make it available to more people as it learns more about offering autonomous tech to the public.


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