Tornado project leads the way in taking autonomy beyond the city, with video

Tornado project leads the way in taking autonomy beyond the city, with video

20.11.2020: Groupe Renault completes innovative three-year Tornado research project, exploring how self-driving cars could work in rural and suburban settings using an autonomous Renault ZOE


    Groupe Renault completes innovative three-year Tornado research project, exploring how self-driving cars could work in rural and suburban settings using an autonomous Renault ZOE


    The project consisted of two key programmes located in a region to the south west of Paris: an on-demand Renault ZOE car sharing service between a train station and a business park, plus a separate shuttle service calling at key stops within the park


    Beginning in September 2017, an advanced autonomous Renault ZOE was used on an eight-mile (13km) round-trip, taking in a range of challenging driving conditions and adapting to the unique demands of suburban and rural driving


    Groupe Renault headed up the project alongside Rambouillet Territoires, in collaboration with 10 industrial and academic partners to share knowledge and expertise


    Tornado project is one of several autonomous trials conducted by Groupe Renault which also included the Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab



    Watch the project in action here: https://youtu.be/IGrBRtcOjOY





Groupe Renault has completed a ground-breaking three-year research project in France exploring and understanding the technology required and conditions needed for autonomous vehicles to work away from built-up urban areas. The trial was made up of two key experiments, including one completed using a specially developed autonomous Renault ZOE.



Starting in September 2017 in a region to the southwest of Paris, the Tornado project, led by Groupe Renault and Rambouillet Territoires, collaborated with 10 industrial and academic partners to test the requirements for autonomous mobility services to work in less populated and less dense suburban and rural areas.



With large portions of the UK and Europe made up of suburban and rural areas, the findings from this advanced project could be used to help inform how autonomous mobility might work beyond bustling cities in these types of areas that present unique challenges to autonomous vehicles.



Groupe Renault has extensive experience in trialling innovative projects in busier, urban areas to understand the complexities in the adoption of autonomous vehicles. In 2019, a panel of around 100 people took part in the Paris-Saclay autonomous lab – a trial of an on-demand car service using two autonomous Renault ZOE Cab prototypes in an initiative of five partners. The trial set out to test the technical aspects of an on-demand car sharing service and understand how it can be adopted and utilised by end users.



With the Tornado project, Groupe Renault set out to investigate the needs for autonomous mobility solutions to work in more rural and suburban areas, complementing its ongoing involvement in urban autonomous trials. The demands of mobility infrastructure are just as important in these areas where there is a strong reliance on public transport for residents and workers.



The research project consisted of two key trials. The first was an on-demand and shared car service using an autonomous Renault ZOE to provide a direct link between Gazeran train station and Bel Air – La Foret business park in Rambouillet (southwest of Paris). The second was a separate shuttle service calling at predefined stops within the Bel Air business park itself. Both experiments aimed to deliver a reliable, connected autonomous mobility service.





Taking autonomous technologies beyond the city



Driving in suburban and rural areas differs dramatically to urban areas. The Tornado project’s technical focus was to define and develop autonomous driving solutions, and communication technologies and infrastructures, that maximise safety and address the specific requirements for suburban and rural areas.



From a safety aspect, everything from hardware and advanced software to embedded and remote solutions were taken into consideration, as well as vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.



The specific and complex characteristics of quieter, more sparsely populated areas were fully analysed as part of the project, including narrow streets, roundabouts and tunnels, obstacles which reduce visibility, lack of road markings, plus changes in roadside configurations and boundaries – issues that aren’t always as consistent as they are in urban areas.



The goal for Groupe Renault was to have an all-electric Renault ZOE drive autonomously over an eight-mile (13km) journey encompassing all of these varying features and challenges. This journey was a route that would be a direct feeder service between Gazeran train station and Bel Air business park.





The outcomes of this included the following:



    Enhancing the autonomous vehicle’s perception capabilities, enabling it to sense the surroundings within a 360-degree field, including type of object, size and distance from the vehicle, in real time


    Being able to locate and control the autonomous vehicle with 200mm accuracy to ensure it stays on its path, on very narrow roads, regardless of the roadside conditions - for example with or without painted lines or just a verge


    Dealing with temporary loss of GPS signal or operating with zero visibility, for example when driving through one-lane tunnels where priority is given to one side or the other


    Reaching speeds that are deemed acceptable by everyday drivers and passengers and that match regular traffic speeds




Over the eight-mile (13km) stretch, tests were conducted on connected infrastructure components such as connected traffic lights and fixed cameras that enable vehicles to see objects beyond their field of perception.



For the autonomous shuttle within the business park itself, users called on the service via the same mobile app as the autonomous Renault ZOE, synced together to provide a continuous, seamless service between the vehicles. Key areas this focused on were advanced perception capabilities, using the connected infrastructure’s capabilities to broaden perception, and ensure the vehicle stayed within its safety perimeters.





Community involvement and requirements




For the Tornado project to work, people’s mobility habits in the area – and their views of autonomous vehicles – needed to be understood. Their level of interest in the possibility of future autonomous transport services was also key, and how targeted, safe, shared and environmentally friendly mobility could complement existing setups in areas like Rambouillet.



Connected infrastructure is key in keeping people moving in rural and suburban areas, and it’s something that’s expected to be convenient and appealing by those using it, which is why it was important to involve local authorities. The community – consisting of around 100 people from the area’s MobiLab – were active in various stages of the project.



Numerous sessions of autonomous Renault ZOE trials, and associated workshops, were aimed at studying how autonomous vehicles can be adopted, as well as monitoring the human factors regarding peoples’ feelings towards these ground-breaking new technologies. From these shared experiences and real-life responses, the technical components could be upgraded or adapted as necessary to suit the expectations of the user community.



One of these changes, based on the feedback, was the operating speed of the autonomous ZOEs that were in use. In 2019 it could drive itself up to speeds of 31mph (50km/h), however because users expected the service to more closely match real-life driving and real-life speed limits, they can now drive up to 43mph (70km/h) along certain parts of the route.




Public-private teamwork


The Tornado project was led by the Fonds Unique Interministeriel (FUI) for Regions, financed by Bpifrance and Ile-de-France, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and Occitanie regional authorities. The variety of partners brought in experts pooling their knowledge, skills and innovative capacity to serve the area, led by Groupe Renault and Rambouillet Territoires.




Renault at the forefront of autonomous innovation


The Tornado project is just one of several projects Renault has worked on to understand the complexities in the adoption of autonomous vehicles. In 2019, a panel of around 100 people took part in the Paris-Saclay Autonomous Lab – a public trial of an on-demand car service using two autonomous Renault ZOE Cab prototypes.



The trial set out to understand how autonomous mobility services could be adopted by end users, and to test the technical aspects an on-demand mobility service would require.



Like the Tornado project, user feedback was key in understanding how autonomous mobility services would work in real life, with testimonials and data from the panel informing how the service can be adapted to better suit the needs of the people using it, and offer the best autonomous and shared mobility service in the future.



The vehicles used were autonomous Renault ZOE Cab prototypes, used during the daytime to move around the Paris-Saclay urban campus and for everyday mobility – going to one of the schools or laboratories on campus, head to lunch or play sports.



One of the vehicles was equipped with an innovative large door on one side of the vehicle spanning the length of the interior, allowing easy access to the whole cabin. On the other prototype, a large rear door on the passenger side allows access to rear seats and the rear-facing front passenger seat. This version provided the kind of environment users expect from a car sharing service.



Both versions feature screens inside so passengers can view their trip, as well as a mobile app to hail the ZOEs and a range of advanced features to keep passengers comfortable and entertained.






Matthew Bendall- photos Renault
 

 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/tornado-project-autonomy-beyond-city-renault-zoe-video---216331.html

20.11.2020 / MaP

More News

Lexus and TED reimagine the automated vehicle of the future
31.10.2020
TED Senior Fellows Greg Gage and Sarah Sandman share original designs for automated vehicles that prioritise the needs of the driver   As the world builds toward automated driving, Lexus continues to keep the focus on what inspires the br more >>
Daimler Trucks and Torc partner with Luminar to enable automated trucking – Daimler Trucks acquires minority stake in Luminar
31.10.2020
Today, Luminar Technologies, Inc., the global leader in automotive lidar hardware and software technology, and the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, Daimler Truck AG, announced a strategic partnership to enable highly automated trucking, starting on highways. more >>
New digital twin of Tokyo's Shuto Expressway to accelerate autonomous vehicle development -with video
08.09.2020
   rFpro has developed the most accurate virtual replica of famous Japanese road    Latest digital twin enables the generation of thousands of test scenarios that are too dangerous and costly to perform in the real world    Enables creation of accurately labelled training data which is critical to training autonomous vehicl more >>
SEAT Spain - Robots take to the streets
20.06.2020
Autonomous transport    8 autonomous robots can transport more than 2,000 parts per day outside the SEAT workshops    They communicate with their surroundings and regulate traffic    This system achieves a reduction of 1.5 tons of CO2 per year and improves delivery efficiency   &n more >>
BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG put development cooperation in automated driving temporarily on hold – may be resumed later
19.06.2020
Partners reach joint decision:Both companies will continue to pursue their own development path -  Technological understanding of both partners remains a good fit - Successful collaboration to continue in other fields as planned - Fröhlich: “Current technology puts us into excellent position for many years&rdquo more >>
Ford,Volkswagen sign agreements for joint projects on commercial vehicles,EVS, Autonomous driving
11.06.2020
   Will collaborate on commercial vehicles – city van created and built by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and later 1-ton cargo van engineered by Ford, plus Volkswagen medium pickup built on Ford Ranger platform – from 2022  more >>
Start-up Bestmile: In the right place at the right time
07.05.2020
The Swiss start-up Bestmile has developed an orchestration platform for on-demand mobility providers that steers every vehicle in a fleet in real time. The focus is on the control of autonomous vehicles.Our cities are constantly growing and str more >>
Volvo Cars to accelerate autonomous technology development
03.04.2020
Zenuity, the assisted and autonomous driving software development company, will be split into two parts to maximise the potential of Zenuity’s developments to date.One part is a new stand-alone company, focu more >>
Porsche demonstrates autonomous driving in the workshop
26.02.2020
As part of a collaboration with “Kopernikus Automotive”, Porsche demonstrated how autonomous driving can be used in the workshop on a test field on the company’s premises in Ludwigsburg. For the system, the partners rely primarily on artificial intelligence, which requires less sensor technology and reduces the costs of the technology. more >>
‘Project Qatar Mobility’: Self-driving shuttles set to take Doha's local public transport to the next level in 2022
14.12.2019
  Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and QIA CEO Mr. Mansoor Bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud.  Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Volkswagen AG announce pioneering autonomous, electric transport initiative to transform urban mobil more >>
BMW Group invests 400 million euros in Plant Dingolfing for BMW iNEXT
02.12.2019
Plant in Lower Bavaria will be upgraded for pure battery-electric and autonomous models by 2021photo caption:BMW Group Plant Dingolfing’s Director Christoph Schröder, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production, Dr. Mil more >>
Autonomous cars: New AI prevents accidents
06.11.2019
Detailed risk assessment to prevent collisions at confusing intersections  MIT test drives in a toy city (Photo: mit.edu)Researchers at the Massachusett more >>
2019 PARIS-SACLAY Autonomous Lab - Groupe Renault starts public trial
14.10.2019
.... of its on-demand car service using autonomous, electric and shared ZOE Cab •          From 14th October to 8th November 2019, a panel of around 100 people  more >>
Audi publishes user typology and emotional landscape of autonomous driving
25.09.2019
From the suspicious driver to the tech-savvy passenger: In a representative online study, the initiative “&Audi” shows how attitudes to autonomous driving are related to lifestyle.    Initiative “&Audi&r more >>
Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv to Form Autonomous Driving Joint Venture
23.09.2019
 •    Joint venture advances the development of production-ready autonomous driving systems for commercialization of Level 4 and 5 self-driving technologies•    Autonomous driving platform will be available for robotaxi providers, fleet operators, and automotive manufacturers in 2022•   more >>
2001-2021 copyright automobilsport.com