First fully-autonomous bus route in Greater Paris area

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On 31 March 2021 the Ile-de-France region inaugurated a new bus route serving the suburban railway station of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines–Montigny-le-Bretonneux and several local business parks in the area using autonomous electric shuttles.

Following previous trials in La Défense and Vincennes, the project, in collaboration with the Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines district, will see the autonomous shuttles operate alongside regular traffic for the first time, and feature in the Île-de-France Mobilités journey planner app alongside the other 1,500 bus lines in the Île-de-France network.

Thanks to €2.4 million in funding from Île-de-France Mobilités, the service is free of charge for all passengers and operates Monday to Friday from 0730 to 2000hrs, and is being operated by Keolis. The route has been designed to complement the existing bus service by providing a last mile solution for the local employment area. Three Navya autonomous electric shuttles will operate the 1.6 km route from 31 March 2021 to June 2022 (with a possible extension), between the Pas-du-Lac business park and the railway station, with three stops. The shuttles will operate every eight minutes in rush hour and every 17 minutes off-peak.

Each autonomous electric shuttle can carry 11 seated passengers. In each vehicle, a safety operator will be present at all times, able to intervene if necessary in compliance with current legislation and assist passengers. Using on-board V2X technology the shuttles can navigate their way across busy junctions, communicating with traffic lights as well as a retractable bollard via a RFID device which is actioned automatically as the shuttle approaches.