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Renault, Sanef partner on road safety of autonomous vehicles

Published 11 July 2017

Groupe Renault and Société des Autoroutes du Nord et de l'Est de la France (Sanef) have partnered to develop advanced solutions for autonomous vehicles.

The cooperation will develop communications between self-driving vehicles and road infrastructure and testing on toll barrier crossing and work zone approach.

The main objective is to increase road safety, reduce accidents and casualties  on autonomous vehicles, thus giving ‘eyes off/ hands off’ experience to commuters.

The companies are working within the framework set by the European SCOOP project, where in the car to car and vehicle to infrastructure (V2X).

Presently, the project is taking place in France with Renault’s self-driving prototypes and going forward the company plans to extend cooperation with other countries as well.

One of the major challenges faced by the Renault and Sanef cooperation is the crossing of a toll barrier by a self-driving car and this is a fairly simple operation for a human driver. The two companies claim to be on their way to solve this.

This is not the first time that Renault and Sanef are working. In fact, the two companies had earlier worked last year in Normandy along the A13 motorway using connected infrastructure (V2X) developed by Sanef, to study how can autonomous vehicles cross toll barriers and work zones. This experimentation is expected to continue till mid-2018.

The V2X communications will alert the vehicle about 1km before the barrier of the toll lanes. Before the vehicle approaches the toll barrier, the vehicle will anticipate its position in lane and will slow down considerably, as per the speed signs.

The vehicle will also use virtual lines from a high-definition map to maintain is position and this is done at a speed of 30km/h.

Groupe Renault project innovation director Mathieu Lips said: “Maximizing safety for drivers, passengers and others with autonomous cars requires several stakeholders in both government and the private sector working together, each bringing unique expertise.

“Our goal is to work with Sanef to develop advances in safety and the right solutions to bring as soon as possible to customers the most comfortable travel in autonomous drive without interruption.”

Sanef Group chief technology officer Edouard Fischer said “We are convinced that autonomous vehicles need premium infrastructures to be developed. That’s the reason why Groupe Renault and Sanef Group are working together on this worldwide innovation. Our goals in terms of road safety and road tech are converging.”


Image: Renault and Senaf to develop infrastructure for self-driving vehicles in France. Photo: Courtesy of Groupe Renault.