Technology company EasyMile has received authorisation from the French Government to operate Europe’s first driverless vehicle, following extensive test runs in the southern city of Toulouse. Representing a new milestone for autonomous driving, the authorisation from France’s Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Ecological Transition allows EasyMile to operate their driverless vehicles at Level 4 (without any human attendant onboard) in mixed traffic on a public road.

The latest development follows EasyMile’s experimentation in partnership with Alstom at the Oncopole medical campus in Toulouse. EasyMile passed rigorous tests and dry-runs, demonstrating the safety and reliability of the technology.

“This is an important step towards real commercialisation of autonomous driving, both on large private sites, as well as on public roads. The applications for our technology to move people and goods continue to grow, especially in locations like campuses, business parks, industrial sites, and master planned communities,” said EasyMile’s general manager Benoit Perrin.

Over the past 18 months, EasyMile’s driverless solutions have seen rapid growth with the company becoming the first autonomous vehicle shuttle provider to deploy fully driverless operations in France on a private site, followed by several other Level 4 services around the world. These include a food bank delivery in North America, deployments in the Nordics, the award-winning BusBot fully driverless shuttle in the Coffs Harbour Botanic Garden in Australia, and now the Oncopole service in France.

With seven Level 4 deployments, EasyMile is the most experienced autonomous shuttle provider in the market today.

Equipped with appropriate levels of safety and system redundancies to operate safely and efficiently in a wide range of environments, EasyMile’s shared passenger vehicles can be run without onboard supervisors, unlocking commercial and operational benefits. Remote supervision from a control centre allows multiple autonomous vehicles to be supervised without additional manpower, enabling scalability.

The service becomes fully flexible as vehicles can be deployed immediately on demand, without having to wait for additional operators to be available.

The Oncopole service has been running between the main entrance and the remote parking lot on the medical campus along a 600-metre mixed-traffic route, shared with bicycles, pedestrians as well as cars and buses since March. It will transition to fully driverless in the coming months.

Photo Credit: EasyMile