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A new autonomous mobility service will bring culture closer to people in rural France, Source: EasyMile

Autonomous shuttles make culture more accessible in rural France

Autonomous shuttles make culture more accessible in rural France

The project for a new driverless transport service for Vernon and Giverny was unveiled last week

Three autonomous shuttles will connect a museum site in rural France with the nearest train station, as EasyMile company informed on Thursday. The move is part of a project called NIMFEA, which will run between the communes of Vernon and Giverny, Normandy, in the north of France. The operation brings together public and private partners for a unique mobility-of-the-future service, open to inhabitants, commuters and tourists.

A multiparty collaboration in the name of culture and mobility

Last week saw the launch of NIMFEA project. The abbreviation stands for Navettes Innovantes Modulaires du Futur Expérimentales et Autonomes, or Experimental and Autonomous Innovative Modular Shuttles of the Future. Several local partners have joined forces to provide a shared autonomous shuttle service during the next summer season.

Said shuttle will be operational from April to October 2022, on a 12-kilometre long round trip. The designated route combines the urban area around the train station Vernon-Giverny in Vernon which includes mixed traffic, roundabouts and pedestrians. It will then cross a bridge to meet a regional road for the final segment of the route to the museum area in the neighbouring village of Giverny.

According to representatives of EasyMile, being able to connect these two areas, which involves crossing complex traffic junctions and establishing a compatible speed, is a sign of the maturity of this driverless technology. On the other hand, it is set to considerably improve the access to the cultural sites in this rural area, by making a direct link between the urban zone and train station.

EasyMile shuttle Vernon-GivernyThe service will run with three EZ10 driverless shuttles next summer.
Image: Seine Normandie Agglomération

The service will be operated by three EasyMile driverless shuttles. Each of them can accommodate up to 12 passengers. According to the company, this is one of the longest routes on mixed open roads ever tested by this type of self-driving vehicle.

The project, other than improving mobility for everyone, aims to contribute to the evolution of regulations and to implement a remote supervision system. It will also focus on measuring the social appropriation of the autonomous transport service.

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