Partners of the Autonomous Vehicles to Evolve to a New Urban Experience (AVENUE) Project have announced its conclusion will be marked at a closure event organized by Navya, Keolis and the University of Geneva.
The project, which is stated to have been one of the European Union’s most advanced and ambitious autonomous mobility projects, also forms part of the EU’s research and innovation Horizon 2020 funding program.
During AVENUE, partners of the project conducted trials of AVs within urban centers, alongside connecting the trial with existing public transportation networks. As a result, 13 Navya Autonom self-driving shuttles transported 60,000 passengers over a total of 80,000km in the eight European cities of included Lyon, Geneva, Luxembourg, Copenhagen, Esch-sur-Alzette and Uvrier.
The event, which will take place at the Groupama Stadium at Décines-Charpieu near Lyon on October 20, 2022, will mark the closing of the four-year collaborative project. It will include keynote speeches, presentations and discussions on the successful deployment of on-demand autonomous public transportation services. Attendees will also be able to test one of the key functions of the project, with two self-driving shuttles forming a connection between a local tram station and the Groupama Stadium.
“For the last six years we have been conducting trials on autonomous shuttles in Lyon, and indeed the rest of the world, which has enabled us to take autonomous technology to a higher level,” said Clément Aubourg, autonomous vehicles manager, Keolis. “We and our partner OEMs are now in a position to offer this kind of service, not only on roads where the conditions are more complex, but also alongside and in conjunction with other modes of transportation. This multimodality is exactly what we want to push in cities like Lyon, so that its users can benefit from a service that complements the existing one.”
“Urban mobility is becoming one of the most serious problems in the daily life of our towns and cities, with too many cars on the roads, high pollution levels and traffic jams,” commented Dimitri Konstantas, University of Geneva. “The only solution seems to be the transition from private cars to public transportation, but this will only happen if we are able to provide people with the same facility and simplicity they are used to. The AVENUE project has demonstrated that on-demand, door-to-door public transportation based on autonomous vehicles is the most promising solution to our urban mobility problems. AVENUE has enabled us to deploy probably the world’s first real public transportation service using fully autonomous vehicles, which takes into account the whole range of related issues, from the technology to its socio-economic and environmental impact, and which opens the door to large scale deployments in the near future.”
“At its launch in 2018, the AVENUE Project was a first for Europe and a means of demonstrating the amazing advantages of autonomous mobility,” added Sophie Desormière, CEO, Navya. “It enabled us to make technological progress and to prove beyond doubt that Nayva’s autonomous shuttles could be integrated into the public transportation system. Our partners contributed a large number of new functions and services, including the on-demand, door-to-door function which is managed from a smartphone. Along with our partners in the AVENUE project, we have proved that sustainable and shared autonomous mobility can be created and rolled out in the heart of Europe.”