La Rochelle, FR is piloting AVs
In 1973, La Rochelle became the first town in France to pedestrianize its center and and in 1976 it was the first to launch a public bike share. In 2014, it also became one of the first in the world to explore the potential of driverless shuttles, hosting one of three large-scale demonstrations funded through the EU’s CityMobil2 program. Over a four-month pilot, six vehicles manufactured by the French company Robosoft operated along a 1.9-km route carrying 15,000 riders. While the final route, as implemented, left out a planned stop linking the route with a major rail station, and vehicle’s design was criticized for poor accessibility for disabled people, the project was widely celebrated as a success.