Two fully electric, driverless shuttles are now carrying passengers at Charles de Gaulle airport.
According to shuttle designer Navya, the aim is to test how the automated vehicles will behave on a high-traffic roadway, as well as how they merge and pass within an extremely dense environment that includes many pedestrians.
“Airports are areas where the traffic is extremely concentrated and so it is really important to manage and optimise the flow,” explained Navya CEO Christophe Sapet.
Navya and transport group Keolis are providing the two shuttles for the trial, which will run until July 2018.
Based in the airport’s business district, Roissypôle, the shuttles connect the suburban train station to airport operator Groupe ADP’s headquarters and the Environmental and Sustainable Development Resource Centre.
The service operates from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm and is free. An on-demand shuttle service is also available by scanning a QR code with a smartphone.
Each vehicle can carry up to 15 passengers, with 11 seated and four standing, and travels at speeds of up to 25 km/h.
The trial is the first at a French airport. If successful, Groupe ADP plans to roll out the technology at other sites, including the public roads around Roissypôle.
“Autonomous transport services will play a key role in our aim to create a new generation of connected airports,” said Edward Arkwright, deputy chief executive of Groupe ADP. “With this first trial, Groupe ADP is paving the way for developing this technology within our airport networks in France and abroad.”