It’s the first bus line entirely operated by autonomous shuttles in the Île-de-France, close to Paris.
Inaugurated on 31 March 2021, a new bus line serving the suburban train station of Saint-Quentin-en- Yvelines-Montigny-le-Bretonneux and several local business parks in the Île-de-France Mobilités network enables passengers to reach their destination on autonomous electric shuttles.
Following previous trials in La Défense and Vincennes, this project, led in close collaboration with Saint- Quentin-en-Yvelines intercommunal district, is a new milestone in the development of autonomous shuttles as a mobility solution by Île-de-France Mobilités, the public transport authority for the Paris Île-de-France region.
Operated by Keolis, for the first time the autonomous shuttles operate alongside regular traffic and feature as a mobility solution in the Île-de-France Mobilités journey planner app, just like the other 1,500 bus lines in the Île-de-France network.
Keolis, an autonomous bus line in Île-de-France
With €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 7.30 am to 8 pm. The choice of Keolis to run the first regular autonomous shuttle service on behalf of Île-de-France Mobilités reflects a commitment to delivering a quality of service in line with the level achieved on other bus lines in the region, the operator points out in a press note.
The new line has been designed to complete the existing bus service by providing a last mile solution for the local employment area.
Each autonomous electric shuttle, supplied by French company Navya, can carry 11 seated passengers. In each vehicle, a safety operator will be present at all times, ready to intervene if necessary, in compliance with current legislation.
The shuttles can navigate safely across busy junctions thanks to on-board V2X technology enabling the shuttles to communicate with traffic lights as well as a retractable bollard connected to the vehicle via a RFID device which is actioned automatically as the shuttle approaches.
The autonomous bus line in Île-de-France, with Navya
From 31 March 2021 to June 2022 (with a possible extension), three Navya autonomous shuttles will run between the Pas-du-Lac business park in Montigny-le-Bretonneux and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines / Montigny-le-Bretonneux train station, over a 1.6 km route featuring three stops.
The shuttles will operate every eight minutes in rush hour and every 17 minutes at off-peak times.
Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines intercommunal district, with the support of Montigny-le-Bretonneux, the Pas-du- Lac local co-ownership association (ASL) and Banque Populaire Val de France, are providing technical engineering expertise and in-depth knowledge of the region for the project. The district also made the necessary adjustments to enable the shuttles and their integrated technology to operate safely in high density traffic.
Keolis uses a fleet management tool provided by VIA, a developer and provider of on-demand shared ride services. The system tracks the shuttles’ position remotely in real time, and monitors passenger numbers, kilometres covered and vehicle speed.
The role of the safety operator is also to welcome passengers on board the shuttles and answer their questions. Just like on regular bus routes, passenger information will also be available on the Île-de-France Mobilités and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines mobile apps and websites.