AVENUE is an EU-funded project under Horizon 2020. The project started on May 1, 2018 and will last 4 years.
AVENUE aims to design and carry out full-scale demonstrations of urban transport automation by deploying, for the first time worldwide, fleets of autonomous minibuses in low to medium demand areas of 4 European demonstrator cities (Geneva, Lyon, Copenhagen and Luxembourg) and later on of 3 replicator cities. AVENUE revisits the offered public transportation services, starting from the original problem, which is to allow passengers to move from one place to another. It takes into account their special needs and time constraints, instead of trying to accommodate autonomous vehicles to the existing solutions of prescheduled bus itineraries.
In this context, AVENUE introduces disruptive public transportation paradigms on the basis of door-to-door services and the nascent concept of the ‘Mobility Cloud’, aiming to set up a new model of public transportation. This model enables multimodal public transportation blending conventional public transport with new service models such as those of the sharing economy, and making use of all possible transportation modes (from bicycles to trains and, of course, autonomous vehicles).Vehicle services that substantially enhance the passenger experience as well as the overall quality and value of the service will be introduced, also targeting elderly people, people with disabilities and vulnerable users. Road behaviour, security of the autonomous vehicles and passengers’ safety are central points of the AVENUE project.
In AVENUE’s vision of the future public transport in urban and suburban environments, autonomous vehicles will revolutionise the way citizens use public transportation, by making time-tables and fixed bus stop obsolete, and by offering a service that will allow passengers to call and hop a ride at any time, at their doorstep for example, and deposit them as close as possible to their destination.
Towards this vision and with demonstrators implemented for 4 years in 4 European cities (Copenhagen, Geneva, Luxembourg and Lyon), the AVENUE project aims to validate the advantages that autonomous vehicles will offer to public transportation, linked with new innovative passenger service and guaranteeing road and passenger safety. It also aims to identify the issues, barriers, societal changes and economic consequences of the introduction of autonomous vehicles in the public transportation services’ offer. This project has been launched by the tpg (transports publics genevois) which showcase a 100% automated, full scale On-Demand, shared, door2door, dynamically routed, public transport service with a fleet of automated zero-emission mini busses serving a large number of virtual bus-stops and connected to the existing transport network.