Friday 24 February 2017

Navette Autonome (3)

Lyon Demo - Confluence
We visited the "Confluence" district of Lyon many blogs ago whilst looking at Lyon Perrache station. Formerly an industrial quayside, he area has developed into a typical 21st century residential and office district with some crazy new buildings and some adaptations of old warehousing. 

The trial run started at Quai Arlès-Dufoue near the viaduct that carries tram T1.
Navya pods then travelled along the banks of the former quay ...
... before turning left onto the banks of the Saône. Here the huge river cruise boats are parked between trips.
The Sucrière was a 1930s sugar warehouse ...
... and is now a trendy arts and conference venue.
Here a couple of Navyas trundle past.
The Navette Automome terminated near this weird green "thing" which is the offices of Euro News.
As the pictures clearly show, this, again was well away from public roads.

So where next?

Gare de Lyon Demo - Paris
At first glance, Paris looks more promising ...
... a real test between two main line railway stations on opposite sides of the Seine. Here is Gare de Lyon with its celebrated clock tower ...
... and on the south side of the river, here is Gare d'Austerlitz.
There should be plenty of opportunity to see how these little beasties work interacting with traffic between the two. It did look very interesting indeed!

Only the Navette doesn't run between the two stations. This is the Pont Charles de Gaulle ...
... normally busy with one way traffic travelling north-east-bound towards Gare de Lyon. It has wide footpaths, a segregated cycle lane and, on the far right, a bus lane.
Now look at these screenshots from a video of the "Navette Autonome".
Here is a little shed in which to park the pod overnight and then all you have to do is to block off the bus lane on the bridge with gert slabs of concrete and off she goes.
In the middle of the bridge is a passing place and ...
... at the Gare de Lyon end, another little shed.
Disappointingly then, the little driverless cabins only run from one side of the bridge to the other. The route display on the screen inside shows that you have to walk several hundred yards from Navette station to big railway station at each end.
For the Paris demonstration, a different "marque" of "pod" is in use. The company is "EasyMile", based in Toulouse, France.
The cabin is slightly smaller than the Navya but the concept is similar. Like Navya, EasyMile has been on view world-wide ...
... with a particularly crazy livery for an exhibition in Darwen, Australia.
Wacky for a demo, but please, please, PLEASE; no contra-vision for real passengers.

In all the demos that fbb has researched so far, the driverless pods have been kept well clear of reality, whether on a specially secluded bit of off-road road or well protected from all the hazards that make any form of road transport challenging.

But there is one Navya experiment that goes quite a bit further. A report on this version of the Navette Autonome also appears in the current issue of Buses magazine.
fbb's investigation will follow after the weekend.

And, back in Lyon ...
... there's a wacky orange building as well!

 Next Navette Autonome blog : MONDAY 27th February 

 Next bus bits blog : Saturday 25th February 

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