Paris has ended a test with self-driving minibuses that started in 2017.
City administration is reported to have said that the reason for ending the test was due to the overall outcomes of the trial being unsatisfactory.
Innovation Origins reports that the tests were carried out in collaboration with the transport company île -de-France Mobilités (IDFM) and the transport company Keolis.
Since 2017 french manufacturer Navya’s busses had been trialled in the La Défense district and according to Innovation Origins the first six months were considered a success, transporting more than 30,000 passengers. In a September 2017 survey, 97% said they were satisfied with the service and 88% said they wanted to use the minibus again.
However, only 11,865 passengers used the bus from June 2018 to May 2019, which the city administration deemed was too few as the goal was to find a solution for mobility in the neighbourhood.
According to Innovation Origins, the buses speed caused a problem. Le Parisien quoted, ‘the speed of the shuttle has not improved in order to make the service attractive.’ The shuttle could theoretically go up to 40 km/h, however, its average speed was only 7 km/h.
Poor mobile phone connection was another reason for the end of the trial, said Innovation Origins. Unreliable connection meant that the shuttle has difficulty adapting to new environmental conditions. Both the poor connection and slow speed meant that the minibuses weren’t really driving autonomously. ‘The technology could not adapt to changes in the urban environment and therefore the overall rating is unsatisfactory,’ said Paris La Défense.
Innovation Origins reports that in total, the buses operated for two years with an interruption due to technical problems between December 2017 and June 2018, and carried 45,500 passengers.
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