Tornado Project - Autonomous Mobility Services in Rural Areas

Tornado Project - Autonomous Mobility Services in Rural Areas

Autonomous mobility is not exclusive to large cities. Experiments around autonomous vehicles must consider the specificities of less

populated areas, where transport solutions are often scarcer, and the challenges specific to rural areas are numerous. The objective of the TORNADO research project, which was completed, was to identify the communication infrastructure and technologies that will enable rollout of autonomous mobility services in rural and suburban areas. It was based on two use cases, and brought together industrial and academic partners, a territory and local populations.

It conducted two experiments involving autonomous and electric mobility services, including full-scale validation tests in real-life environments:

An on-demand and shared car service using Renault ZOE to provide a direct link between Gazeran rural train station and Bel Air - La Forêt business park in Rambouillet (southwest of Paris)

A shuttle service calling at predefined stops within Bel Air business park.

Defining the technologies needed to roll out autonomous transport solutions in rural and suburban areas

The TORNADO project’s technical component focused on defining and developing autonomous driving solutions and communication infrastructure and technologies to:

Maximise safety: hardware, software, embedded and remote solutions, vehicle-to- infrastructure communication, etc.

Address specific requirements in suburban and rural areas: narrow streets, roundabouts, obstacles hampering visibility, lack of road markings and other bearings, changes in roadside configurations, narrow one-lane tunnels, etc.

The goal for Groupe Renault was to have an electric vehicle drive completely autonomously over a 13 km stretch encompassing all these distinctive features and illustrating a direct feeder service between Gazeran train station and Bel Air business park in Rambouillet.

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