The future of autonomous transportation will be shared mobility

By Thierry MALLET, Chairman & CEO, Transdev Group

With the world population set to reach 10 billion inhabitants in 2050, of which close to 7 billion in urban areas, the question of reducing the number of individual cars is no longer an option.

Added to this, 80% of urban population is already exposed daily to excessive levels of air pollution and that the transportation sector generates 27% of total greenhouse gas emissions, the need to quickly achieve an effective and smooth energy transition towards hybrid, battery-electric and hydrogen-electric powertrains is unquestionable.

This reality opens a broad path for future mobility solutions that will need to be personalized, autonomous, connected and electric & eco-friendly.

However, autonomous vehicles will only make sense if they are part of a shared and inclusive mobility approach. Turning autonomous vehicles into individual means of transportation would only increase congestion in already saturated urban centers.

Our world does not only need cleaner cars, it needs fewer cars.

Autonomous mobility services can provide flexible solutions that are easy to incorporate into existing transportation systems.

These solutions can expand the scope of public transportation to better serve places like airports, universities, business complexes and new towns and cities.

They are adapted to first-mile and last mile travel, either on demand or for fixed routes.

The goal is to get passengers to their destination swiftly and seamlessly.

Transdev believes that autonomous mobility solutions are a key element of the future of transportation and that shared autonomous mobility services will be a reality on the roads before driverless cars for individuals.

Our company is already operating autonomous vehicles on closed sites and is conducting an array of projects on open roads.

Transdev aims to lead the way in mobility services based on fleets of shared autonomous vehicles while ensuring the highest standards for safety, quality of service and customer experience.

Autonomous services already meet a wide range of needs: facilitating mobility within city centers and tourist attractions, serving a private or restricted site, taking care of travel to the nearest station or stop and providing a night time or off-peak service.

For that, Transdev has built its strategy on two linked pillars: on the one hand, the company has been providing transportation services in simple use cases since 2005 with autonomous vehicles made by several manufacturers, such as 2GetThere, EasyMile, Lohr and Navya.

On the other hand, it has been developing proprietary solutions (“Transportation Technology by Transdev”) in order to be able to offer autonomous mobility solutions which are safe and reliable in a broader set of conditions thanks to a state of the art supervision system (inside the Operating Control Center), embedded intelligence (inside the Autonomous Vehicles), connected infrastructure and a client application.

Transdev’s mission is to ensure passenger safety, the quality of service and provide the best customer experience.

Transdev’s expertise in shared autonomous transportation stems from experience in carrying 3.5 million passengers covering more than 1.5 million km since 2005, through initiatives and experiments in Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands and the United States.

By 2020, Transdev’s objective is to provide commercial transportation services through fleets of shared autonomous vehicles that are a seamless part of conventional transportation systems.

In Rouen (France), Transdev with its partners  is pioneering the Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab experimentation, the first on demand shared mobility service to use autonomous vehicles on open roads in Europe.

The service will soon be open to the public with four autonomous Renault ZOE all-electric vehicles and will be joined in 2019 by the i-Cristal autonomous and electric urban shuttle jointly developed by Transdev and Lohr.

The common success of such new transportation models depends on the commitment of all mobility stakeholders, who are called upon to collaborate in the development of their regions.

Sustainable mobility will be co-constructed and based on fruitful cooperation between all players, start-ups, transit operators, industrial players, SMEs and, above all, communities.

Making individual car ownership unnecessary through a comprehensive and affordable transportation offer is undoubtedly an ambitious goal.

Nevertheless, it remains the key to the advent of sustainable mobility. It is time to commit to a more sustainable and collaborative world… as opposed to the private car, which is more polluting and individualistic!