Renault Starts Testing Self-Driving Rideshare Service

Renault has started a public trial of its on-demand car service on the Paris-Saclay urban campus, according to a press release on Monday (Oct. 14). A panel of around 100 people will use the service — provided by two electric, autonomous and shared Renault Zoe Cab prototypes — on the campus from Oct. 14 through Nov. 8.

Two cars with different features will be tested, with passengers able to hail them using the mobile app, Marcel Saclay, which was designed specifically for the ZOE Cab experiment. Users can request a car on demand, or book it in advance. The cars will stop en route to pick up another passenger.

Renault said the pilot would allow it to “test the technical aspects” of the service, which will run Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The experiment, and the feedback from the test riders, will give Renault the chance to identify any necessary adaptations to the service, mobile app and cars.

The Zoe Cab comes equipped with seats that give each passenger a private bubble, and has a variety of “soundscapes” based on “auditive neurostimulation.”

“Soundscapes are processed by the brain as if they were in three dimensions, reproducing an accurate rendition of the sounds, making them seem as close to real as possible for a totally immersive experience,” the release said.

The cabs also have touchscreens offering ETA and real-time trip data, along with temperature settings, music and other information.

Waymo announced in June that it was partnering with Renault and Nissan to explore all aspects of driverless mobility services for passengers and deliveries in France and Japan. The collaboration enables Waymo to initially research commercial, legal and regulatory issues related to Transportation-as-a-Service, with the aim of creating long-term driverless solutions with the world’s largest automaker.

The service will initially launch in France and Japan, home to Renault and Nissan headquarters, with plans to expand to other markets in the future, excluding China.

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