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Delphi-Transdev Collaboration to Focus on Launching Driverless Services

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【Summary】In the collaboration Transdev, which operates transportation services in over 19 countries, will provide mobility-related software. Delphi is expected to leverage its current partnership with Mobileye to install autonomous hardware on electric cars.

Michael Cheng    Jun 16, 2017 6:05 AM PT
Delphi-Transdev Collaboration to Focus on Launching Driverless Services

Applying driverless technology to transportation-related services is an important aspect to the spread of self-driving cars. So far, autonomous navigational and driving platforms are being applied in farming tractors, commercial trucks and even last-mile deliveries.

Another niche waiting to be scooped up by driverless tech is mobility services. Analysts predict self-driving cars will allow seniors citizens and individuals with disabilities to travel safely without help from relatives or professional caregivers.

The combination of autonomous cars and mobility services is currently being explored by a partnership that was recently formed between global supplier of transportation systems Delphi and Paris-based Transdev (70 percent controlled by the French government's investment arm Caisse des Depots and 30 percent by waste management company Veolia Environment SA). Together, the duo plans to launch automated, mobility-on-demand systems (AMoD).

Deploying Autonomous Pods

In the collaboration Transdev, which operates transportation services in over 19 countries, will provide mobility-related software. On the other hand, Delphi is expected to leverage its current partnership with Mobileye to install autonomous hardware on electric cars. The vehicles will be used to power the group's commercial fleets.

"Combining the strengths of our two companies, leaders in their field, will enable us to introduce innovative driverless services in our current and future operations, confirming the position of Transdev as a pioneer in integrating autonomous transport systems into global mobility networks," said Yann Leriche from Transdev.

The self-driving taxis are going to be deployed in Saclay, Paris. Initially, the fleet will service local residents traveling from the University of Paris-Saclay to nearby railway stations. The duo plans to launch the service later this year, starting with two electric cars and a shuttle. At the start of the service, a driver will be present, ready to intervene during emergencies.

To ride in one of the vehicles, locals must make a request via a smartphone app. At designated stops, one can purchase a ticket to board the driverless bus.

Global Ambitions

Both companies are currently conducting autonomous pilot programs in different parts of the world. Transdev launched a ride-hailing service using driverless cars in Normandy, France earlier this year. The French company intends to bring Delphi into the ongoing project, which is a great opportunity for the auto supplier to experiment with Transdev's Universal Routing Engine, cloud infrastructure and software modules for public transportation.

"This latest announcement will help accelerate the development of commercially viable automated vehicle solutions," said Glen De Vos, Delphi senior vice president and chief technology officer. "As a result, we're confident this collaboration brings us closer to providing all of our customers and partners with an affordable, reliable and scalable automated driving and mobility-on-demand platform."

At the moment, Delphi is testing an autonomous ride-hailing service in Singapore using a modified Audi SQ5 crossover. Next month, it will add two more driverless cars to the program. Like its ride-hailing services in Saclay, a driver is present in the vehicles for monitoring. Delphi aims to fully automate the service – without drivers – by 2019.

Additionally, the business expressed intentions to replicate its ride-hailing services in the US.

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