Because Smart Cities will have to meet ecological challenges and offer citizens more intelligent, seamless, efficient and affordable mobility, the City of Nice, which already pursues a proactive “green” transport policy, has invited AKKA and VULOG to the Quai des Etats-Unis on Monday 17 December to test and showcase France’s very first shared autonomous mobility service.

The concept of this vehicle of the future is simple: use a technology platform and its smartphone app, just as with a taxi service, to order a driverless vehicle that will transport its passengers to their final destination.

This unprecedented full-scale test of the first vehicle of its kind is the result of close collaboration between AKKA – an international engineering and technology consulting group specializing in autonomous systems – and VULOG – a pioneering company from Nice and the world leader in shared mobility technologies. It will give a clearer picture of this future mode of transport, which is expected to revolutionize mobility in the city in the next 5 to 10 years.

Christian Estrosi, Mayor of the City of Nice, President of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Area, and Deputy President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, welcomes the news: “To address the global environmental challenges we face, I have been pursuing a proactive policy in the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Area since 2008 that focuses on Smart Cities, innovation and sustainable development. My ambition is to make our region a reference in this area. Our Metropolitan Area has become a model of innovation, prompting the French Ministry of the Environment and Energy to recognize us as pioneers in Smart Cities. This year, I wanted to accelerate our energy transition by proposing 31 measures developed around eight discussion topics, including sustainable mobility. This unprecedented new-generation car-sharing solution resulting from the AKKA-VULOG partnership could, in the future, enhance the range of alternatives to the combustion engine that we already offer. Lastly, I am especially proud to point out that we supported Vulog – now the world leader in car-sharing technologies – in its development and its expansion into new markets, through our Nice Côte d’Azur Business Incubator. This demonstrates the visionary nature of our strategy of economic development, based on innovation and new technologies!”

Grégory Ducongé, General Manager of Vulog, comments: “Shared, electric and autonomous mobility is now a key challenge for Smart Cities. Because cities will play a major role in the future as facilitators, orchestrators and regulators of mobility initiatives, we are proud to be able to test the very first autonomous mobility service in France, in our home city of Nice. The aim of this pilot project is to demonstrate, with the help of our partner AKKA, our platform’s ability to operate shared mobility services with autonomous vehicles. We believe that the arrival of the autonomous vehicle on our roads will be achieved through its gradual introduction in shared vehicle fleets. As the world leader in car-sharing technologies, Vulog is ideally positioned to actively participate in its large-scale deployment. We are also committed to strengthening our cooperation with cities and local authorities by helping them implement effective solutions to drastically reduce pollution and the role of the individual vehicle.”

Paolo del Noce, CEO of AKKA, adds: “I would like to thank Mayor Christian Estrosi for hosting this experiment in Nice and thus being an important player in the city of the future. The quality of the close collaboration with Vulog has enabled us to make this project a reality for users, mainly thanks to the excellent app developed by the teams. Since 2010, through our innovative Link&Go prototype, we have demonstrated our ability to develop a complete platform by integrating digital technologies and complex autonomous systems, including connectivity and the IoT. Today, we are making our forward-thinking abilities available to mobility manufacturers, in order to support their transformation towards a world centered on the user experience.”

Source and photo credits: AKKA Technologies