The Duplex A86, autonomous driving development laboratory (video report)

Autonomous car technology is progressing slowly but surely among car manufacturers and suppliers.

Since September 1, France has thus authorized the circulation of level 3 self-driving cars on open roads, provided however that these respect certain conditions: 60 km/h maximum, only on roads without pedestrians or cyclists, and equipped with a lane separator.

Furthermore, “the automated driving system must be able to be deactivated at any time by taking control of the driver” thus specifies the decree. In other words, the functionalities remain limited.

But things are progressing rapidly, and as these aids become more sophisticated and multiply, it will be up to manufacturers to offer systems that are always secure. The issue of connectivity between vehicles and infrastructure is therefore of absolutely fundamental importance.

The Duplex A86, autonomous driving development laboratory (video report)

The Duplex A86, autonomous driving development laboratory (video report)

The Stellantis group and Vinci Autoroutes have been associated for several years now for the development of automated driving and connected.

We remember in particular that in 2017, this allowed the crossing of a toll barrier without the intervention of a driver, an exercise followed a few months later by an exercise in obstacle avoidance in the work zone.

The new stage consists of the development of solutions allowing infrastructures and vehicles to communicate in real time in the tunnel, that is to say even in the absence of GPS positioning.

These experiments take place in particular in the duplex of the A86, in the Paris region, a unique laboratory of its kind.

Packed with cameras and automatic incident detection systems, ultra-secure, the Duplex A86 is one of the flagships of the Vinci Autoroutes network.
Packed with cameras and automatic incident detection systems, ultra-secure, the Duplex A86 is one of the flagships of the Vinci Autoroutes network.

10 km long and used daily by 35,000 vehicles, this structure has two independent and superimposed circulation spaces. As such, it represents an ideal ground for testing automated and connected driving technologies.

This week, Caradisiac was therefore able to participate in a demonstration of connected driving, with the highlighting of functionalities for the real-time transmission of dynamic incidents by the infrastructure, and the transmission of notifications Infrastructure-To-Vehicle located in the tunnel. In other words, the car is literally connected to its environment.

To carry out these tests, it was necessary in particular to create a 3D model of the tunnel, a digital twin which makes it possible to locate any event or object with an accuracy of the order of 5 cm. It was also necessary to deploy communicating infrastructures on the side of the road.

The goal is simple: to provide the vehicle with information on any incident occurring outside the driver’s field of vision, so that the driver can adapt his driving accordingly.

During our test, we were able to experiment with different scenarios: vehicle stopped on hard shoulder in a bend, small object on the hard shoulder, presence of a pedestrian on the edge of the lane (photo below above), and finally the presence of a slow moving vehicle upstream.  This last scenario is the one that represents the biggest technological challenge, according to Stellantis.
During our test, we were able to experiment with different scenarios: vehicle stopped on hard shoulder in a bend, small object on the hard shoulder, presence of a pedestrian on the edge of the lane (photo below above), and finally the presence of a slow moving vehicle upstream. This last scenario is the one that represents the biggest technological challenge, according to Stellantis.

The question remains: when will the actual arrival of the autonomous car on the road? We of course put it to Vincent Abadie, Master ADAS and autonomous vehicles expert at Stellantis, present during these tests. And we invite you to discover his answer in the video accompanying this article.