Groupe PSA and VINCI Autoroutes have announced their latest autonomous vehicle tests on French roads, following a trial two years ago that saw a vehicle cross a tollgate in full autonomous mode.
The new trials, which aim to improve a vehicle’s ability to adapt its driving in unusual or tricky situations, require more sophisticated communication between the autonomous vehicle and the surrounding road infrastructure.
During the tests, a Peugeot 3008 prototype, part of the autonomous vehicle fleet for Groupe PSA’s ‘Autonomous Vehicle for All’ programme, was used on VINCI-operated roads to drive autonomously at a cruising speed. The partners carried out two additional tests during this latest phase:
Placing the vehicle into autonomous mode while driving through an area with temporary changes during roadworks
Getting the vehicle to perform a ‘safe stop’ and drive to a safe place in the event that its driver fails to resume control in certain situations.
“This trial is an additional step towards the deployment of autonomous vehicles,” said Carla Gohin, Groupe PSA’s Chief Technology Officer.
“Two years after the first trial, the aim was to include even more constraints in the use cases by strengthening communication between the autonomous vehicle and the road infrastructure in order to broaden the scope of the system's action while ensuring safety.”
Pierre Coppey, Chairman of VINCI Autoroutes and Executive Vice-President of VINCI, said: “Smart motorway infrastructure is an essential asset in the development of autonomous vehicles. It enhances the contextual data shared with the navigation system to optimise the vehicle’s decision-making abilities and route.”
“The motorway network offers a life-sized testing ground for new mobility solutions that will revolutionize road use in future,” added Coppey.
The results of the companies’ continued autonomous driving tests will feed into the standardisation work being carried out in various projects such as C-Roads or the SAM Project.