France to Test Autonomous Shuttles

Citing it as an opportunity to increase access to mobility, especially in rural territories, France’s transportation ministry has green-lighted a trial of 16 experimental autonomously-driven vehicles from company EasyMile. The experiment includes vehicles operating as shuttles, performing short distance passenger transport duties as well as last-mile connectivity between existing public transit and harder-to-access rural cities. Some of the vehicles will also be used for package delivery. The EasyMile experiment will be evaluated for effectiveness and safety in 2022. By that point, the vehicles are expected to have operated close to one million kilometers.

In April 2019, after achieving approval from the Utah Department of Transportation, EasyMile also started testing an autonomous shuttle in Utah using its EZ10 shuttle. The shuttle will travel to different locations throughout Utah for one year, giving free rides to the public, in exchange for feedback on the technology and the ride experience. EZ10 started operating in California in 2018. Alstom, Continental, and Bpifrance are among EasyMile’s investors.