Torc, Transdev partner on fully autonomous, shared shuttle
Torc Robotics and Transdev are partnering on a fully autonomous shuttle platform. The partners are integrating Torc’s L4 Asimov self-driving software into the embedded intelligence system of the i-Cristal.
Torc is licensing its Asimov self-driving software stack and sensor suite architecture for the i-Cristal autonomous shuttle. The partners agree that shuttles and smaller vehicles will provide complementary mobility to existing public transportation networks around the world. The shuttles also provide an ideal opportunity to introduce autonomous vehicles into public use.
“Our partnership brings together two companies with a similar vision for the future of autonomous mobility,” said Michael Fleming, Torc CEO. “We believe that shared mobility will be one of the cornerstone applications that lead the way to mass adoption of self-driving consumer vehicles.”
Transdev, through its global Autonomous Transport System (ATS by Transdev), is providing its supervision system, connected infrastructure and client application, and embedded technology. The companies say their first priority is to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers as well as provide high-quality service.
The Transdev/Lohr i-Cristal electric shuttles are SAE Level 4 (fully autonomous in select areas) and operate without a steering wheel or pedals. The integration of this latest technology is intended to allow i-Cristal to seamlessly blend into urban traffic while maintaining safety requirements at speeds of up to 19 mph (30 km/h).
“At Transdev, we believe the future of mobility is increasingly P.A.C.E.: Personalized, Autonomous, Connected, and Eco-Friendly,” said Yann Leriche, Transdev’s North America CEO and head of Autonomous Transportation Systems. “We believe that public transport will lead and be the first place real autonomous services will be developed. With Torc’s expertise in autonomous technology, we will accelerate our capability to develop innovative solutions.”
The i-Cristal autonomous shuttle was first unveiled in September 2018 by Transdev and Lohr, a leading French industrial company with more than 50 years of worldwide industrial experience in manufacturing vehicles. The i-Cristal has a maximum capacity of 16 passengers and is designed for ease of access, interior design, and passenger experience.
The partners plan to begin testing on closed courses and public roads in January 2019 before providing public service trials in two locations in France: Paris-Saclay and Rouen.
In Paris-Saclay, the shuttles will operate in a dedicated lane offering a shared-ride mobility service at night and off-peak hours between the Massy transit station and the Paris-Saclay campus. In Rouen, the shuttles will operate on public roads offering a shared-ride mobility service throughout the business park and connecting to the tramway station.
The objective is to integrate fleets of autonomous i-Cristal shuttles into existing Transdev public transportation networks as a complement to extend the geographical coverage or time schedule.