PSA autonomous cars tested by motorists near Paris
At the end of March, Groupe PSA provided opportunities for "nonexperts" as drivers or passengers to test its autonomous car technology on the roads of the Paris region. The operation, part of the roll-out of its AVA (Autonomous Vehicle for All), invited pre-selected motorists to take part in the driving experience. The AVA program, presented at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show earlier in the month, brings together a range of functions that are intended to gradually lead to total automated driving if the driver allows.
PSA claims it was the first company to test autonomous cars in July 2015 on open roads in France. In March 2017, the company says it became the first to experiment with nonexperts behind the wheel, with testing commencing in early March and continuing through June with the general public. To date, over 120,000 km (75,000 mi) have been covered in autonomous mode (SAE Levels 2, 3, and 4) on “fast” European roads. A total of 15 prototypes are being used by the Group and its partners.
PSA’s goal is to make autonomous cars accessible to the greatest number of users, with the AVA program using vehicles from PSA’s Peugeot, Citroën, and DS brands. The demonstration models tested by motorists are equipped with SAE Level 3 "eyes off" and Level 4 "mind off" automated driving—forerunners of the completely autonomous cars that will become available from the company after 2020.
Currently, driver-assistance functions from the AVA program are already available on the Peugeot 3008, Traveler, Citroën C4 Picasso, C3 and Spacetourer in Europe, as well as the Peugeot 4008 and the Citroën C6 in China. Some of the functions include adaptive cruise control with stop function, distance alert to reduce collision risk, active safety brake, lane-keeping assist, and an assist that detects a parking space suitable for vehicle size and manages the steering system.
In 2018, automated driving functions under a driver's supervision will constitute the second phase of the AVA. Some of those Level 2 functions will be launched on the DS 7 Crossback. Connected Pilot will offer assistance on “fast roads,” managing vehicle speed and trajectory. Park Pilot will see the vehicle park itself without driver involvement. Night Vision will use embedded vehicle sensors will identify obstacles to enable increased night visibility. A camera inside the vehicle will monitor and offer warnings related to the driver’s attention. From 2020, autonomous driving functions called “hands off,” followed by Level 3 "eyes off" functions that will enable drivers to delegate some driving to the vehicle.