On 15 November 2018, the city of Rennes launched a trial of autonomous vehicles on the campus of Rennes 1 university, to be operated by Keolis as part of the public transport network. Supported by the expertise of Keolis, a pioneer in shared mobility, this service serves to strengthen the city’s innovation strategy.
The trial of the autonomous vehicles started on 15 November 2018 on the Beaulieu campus of Rennes 1 university and is scheduled to continue until June 2019.
Two shuttles are being used to deliver the service, which is fully integrated into the STAR transport network of Rennes, also operated by Keolis. A special network line has been created for the service: ‘line 100 Campus Beaulieu – Star La Navette’. The service is free to passengers and runs from Monday to Friday.
Line 100 runs along a 1.3km route and is intended as an intermodal mobility solution for the area around the university. It complements services provided by line C4 of the STAR bus network and the future metro line B (at Beaulieu-University station). The shuttle runs partly on the open road with other heavy modes of transport, and partly on a road reserved for softer modes, such as bicycles and walking.
The autonomous shuttles were manufactured by the French company NAVYA, a leader and specialist in the design and development of vehicles that are 100% autonomous, driverless and electric. The company has a partnership agreement with Keolis. The vehicles operate without a driver, but have a STAR employee on-board to welcome passengers and who maintains contact with the control centre. Twelve female and male employees from the network were chosen to manage the service during the trial period.
Emmanuel Couet, Chairman of Rennes Métropole :
“For the first time, autonomous vehicles will be fully integrated into a public transport network. We are very proud of this achievement. Rennes continues to prove itself as a region of innovation and research, for the benefit of passengers and to have answers for the mobility solutions of tomorrow.”
Laurent Senigout, Director of Keolis Rennes:
“Keolis is proud to support the city of Rennes in its pro-active and innovative mobility strategy: the autonomous shuttle trial is an opportunity for the company to experience first-hand future developments of our roles and to the technology available.
Growing interest among cities for autonomous mobility solutions has meant a significant increase in the number of trials in recent years to demonstrate the viability of this innovation, which is capable of (re)defining the mobility of tomorrow.
Keolis, a pioneer in autonomous and shared mobility solutions, has already led other trials in partnership with NAVYA. Since the launch of the world’s first autonomous shuttle service in Lyon, France, in September 2016, Keolis has carried out more than 30 trials and demonstrations of autonomous vehicles which have now travelled more than 40,000km and carried more than 120,000 passengers both in France and internationally*.
*France: Paris (La Défense and Roissypole with ADP), Lyon (Confluence), Strasbourg; Denmark (Aalborg); Spain (Barcelona); United Kingdom (London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park); Canada (Candiac, Montreal); United States (Las Vegas, Atlanta); Australia (La Trobe University – Melbourne, Flinders University – Adelaide) and in Belgium (Han-sur-Lesse and Waterloo).
Leading the way in public transport, Keolis partners with public decision makers to make shared mobility an asset for cities and their communities. Internationally recognised as the leading operator of trams and automated metros, Keolis adopts an innovative approach with all its partners and subsidiaries (Kisio, LeCab, EFFIA, Keolis Santé and Cykleo) to develop new forms of shared and customised mobility, and reinforce its core business across a range of transport modes including trains, buses, coaches, trolleybuses, shared private hire vehicles, river shuttles, ferries, cycles, car sharing services, electric autonomous vehicles and urban cable cars. In France, Keolis is now the leader in medical transport services through the creation of Keolis Santé in July 2017 and positioned as the number two car park operator, through its subsidiary EFFIA.
The company is 70% owned by SNCF and 30% by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). Keolis employs 63,000 people in 15 countries and recorded revenue of 5.4 billion euros in 2017. Each year, over 3 billion passengers worldwide use one of the shared mobility services offered by Keolis.
*Historically based in France, Keolis has expanded its operations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Qatar, Sweden, the UK and the USA.
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