Roissy airport is testing new autonomous shuttles

November 24, 2017

Autonomous shuttles ? They already start to appear in our streets. Prototypes are being tested in city centers, airport terminals and university campuses. Equipped with motion sensors and multiple cameras, they are perfectly fitted for the urban environment, and represent a promising solution to urban transport fluidity problems. The concept has been materialized by Navya a startup based in Lyon, whose shuttles are already in use in Lyon and in Paris La Defense area.

The ADP group (Aéroports de Paris), focused on improving passengers experience and traffic fluidity is indeed interested in these shuttles for implementation in the 23 French airports. They decided to ask this young company to run a trial phase, now underway in Roissy, before opening to the general public later in 2018.

The innovative project delighted Edward Arkwright, executive director of the group: “The idea is to see how we can integrate an autonomous vehicle (presented during the” Airport startup Day “Terminal 2F) with existing traffic.


Could these shuttles solve heavy traffic ? 

The challenge is daunting: Dense areas with narrow accesses, busy roads and increasing traffic. In that situation, small and independent public transportation units might be the way, with a sufficient number of shuttles that could accommodate between 10 to 15 people.

According to the newspaper La Tribune, more than 65.9 million passengers in 2016 have been circulating in the terminals. A growing figure to which are added the 90,000 employees.


Opening to the general public from 2018

The experimentation phase will last 6 months with tests on 600 meters paths, between CDG1 and RER B, passing through the nearby hotels area. At first it will only be nonpublic tests ran by the ADP group before reaching a full public testing phase. The challenge goes far beyond our borders. Most international airports are working on similar projects, the technological competition to offer the best services in airport hubs is fierce. Passengers will only benefit from it and they are already looking forward to boarding onto these self-driving shuttles, available 24/7.

This innovative project will change the airport experience, and get Roissy Charles de Gaulle on the way to becoming a “Smart Airport” of tomorrow.


Thomas Chauvel – Community manager