Renault Uses Humans Test Subjects to Perfect Autonomous Zoe in Paris
16 October 2019 - autoevolution
As most carmakers with an eye for potential money-making side businesses, Renault too has decided not long ago to attack the urban mobility service sector head-on.
In the not so distant future, the French are planning to launch their own car-sharing businesses, using, in part, autonomous Zoe EVs.
The first tests of the autonomous Zoe have already begun in the Paris-Saclay urban campus. The carmaker has deployed on public streets modified self-driving cars that will transport a group of 100 selected people to and fro in an attempt to verify the validity of the technology. The tests have begun on Monday, October 14, and will run until November 8.
There is more than one variant of the Zoe taking part in the project as Renault is trying to come up with the best design.
One has a large fore-wing door that spans the length of the car, a section that is cut off from the rest of the car's interior, eliminating from view the person seated in the driver's seat, acting as backup, so that people could feel the rush of being driving by the car itself, and individual screens, speakers, and USB port for each seat.
The second Zoe features the same large door on the right side of its body, an interior that has been modified so that the passengers are facing backwards, and screens for all passengers.
The Zoes will do their thing on a course that has 12 pick-up/drop-off points, and the 100 people taking part in the experiment will share their impressions with Renault so that the carmaker could better understand what needs to be changed.
Each of them will be queried on overall service, mobile booking app, vehicle comfort levels, and on-board services.
Renault did not say when it actually plans to launch the car sharing service on a larger, commercial scale.