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Press release | Focus | Software technologies | Autonomous vehicle | Artificial intelligence | Innovation for industry
On 30 March 2018, RATP Group, the CEA and Iveco Bus presented a demonstration of a fully autonomous bus depot in the level 3 basement of the Lagny bus centre in the 20th arrondissement in Paris. The experiment is part of the European Bus System of the Future 2 (EBSF 2) program launched in 2015 and co-financed by the European Union.
The demonstration was held at the RATP Lagny bus depot. The demonstration is the culmination of a technological research project conducted by RATP Group, CEA List and Iveco Bus. Two situations were studied in the research project:
1. When the driver arrives at the depot, the bus powers up in autonomous mode, exits its parking space in the level 3 basement and approaches the depot exit. The driver begins his or her shift when leaving the depot.
2. At the end of the shift the driver leaves the bus at the depot entrance. With autonomous mode activated, the vehicle parks itself in the spot assigned by the automatic fleet management system after moving to the underground parking spaces.
There are several points of interest in the demonstration for RATP Group which could be developed, such as:
Optimising available space in bus depots located in dense urban areas thanks to tighter vehicle parking made possible by automated systems
Assisting bus drivers' tasks by means of advanced driving assistance systems and ultimately changing some of their assignment, for example, actions to take buses in and out the garage.RATP Group teamed up with two partners, IVECO BUS and CEA List, to develop the automation system for depot operations and conduct the demonstration:
A driver is always on board the bus during tests conducted for the research project to ensure that the experiment works smoothly and supervise the system. However, the driver never intervenes in the vehicle's autonomous operation.
The Lagny bus depot in the 20th arrondissement in Paris is RATP Group's technological flagship and will be home to electric buses starting in 2019. The centre was inaugurated in 2016 after a modernisation and extension program to exemplify the bold RATP policy to modernise its industrial infrastructure and enhance the value of its real estate assets. RATP combines urban development with city centre industry by building a dense, multi-purpose, sustainable and smart city.
Autonomous vehicles are one of the priority fields of innovation for RATP Group, which aims to become a major partner for smart, sustainable towns and cities.
In addition to the demonstration of autonomous garaging, RATP Group is currently conducting experiments on driverless shuttles in Bois de Vincennes (Paris 12th arrondissement) and at the CEA Paris-Saclay facility.
With this European premiere in terms of autonomous bus, IVECO BUS clearly positions itself as a manufacturer at thé forefront of innovation and contributes to demonstrate the technological excellence of the French industry dedicated to sustainable mobility. It should be noted that its parent group, CNH Industrial, is deeply involved in several autonomous driving projects in multiple fields of activity such as driverless farm tractors and the European Truck Platooning Challenge…
The digital technologies developed by CEA List help increase the degree of vehicle autonomy, particularly in the fields of sensors, artificial intelligence and secure systems. For example, digital technologies enable the vehicle to perceive its environment and operate under maximum security conditions by integrating and interpreting information.
The "Bus System of the Future" projects (EBSF and EBSF_2) aim to develop a new generation of urban bus systems. The aim is to develop and deploy innovative vehicle technologies and infrastructures integrating the best operating practice and which have been tested in operations scenarios in several bus networks in Europe.
Work conducted by project partners in the last three years – trials have concerned over 150 vehicles – lays the foundations for using new technologies to ensure greater efficiency by bus networks.
"As a coordinator of the EBSF 2 project, Union internationale des transports publics (UITP) would like to congratulate teams in RATP Group, IVECO bus and CEA for their contribution to this unique research program in Europe."
The EBSF 2 project received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 program in research and innovation.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.