French autonomous car

How the French government is preparing the autonomous car

As self-driving car technology continues to develop, the French government is preparing the framework to enable its deployment in the country.

Autonomous cars do not yet exist and they could pose new challenges in terms of energy consumption depending on their uses. But they are coming. In the United States and China, some companies are already using self-driving cars to move passengers like taxis. This practice remains rare and experimental for the moment, but all the main mobility players are currently working on the generalization of this technology.

The French government is also preparing for it. Last Friday, the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion published a new official press release on automated vehicles. He wants to set a framework to support the development of these autonomous driving vehicles between 2023 and 2025 and adapt the country’s infrastructure to its operation.

“Four priority actions for the 2023-2025 period”

The goal is above all to set a legal framework for the operation of autonomous cars and to prepare the ground for these future automated and connected vehicles. To do this, the government wants to

  • “support local authorities and operators in the deployment of passenger services”,
  • “prioritize and coordinate deployments in terms of connectivity and data exchange systems”,
  • “finalize the legal framework relating to the automated freight and logistics”,
  • “financing investment projects in the industrial offer of automated road mobility”, in particular by mobilizing European credits.

These investments will undoubtedly be necessary for the pioneers of the sector: a few days ago, the French company Navya developing autonomous driving shuttles announced its bankruptcy filing. Even if large groups with generous means such as Stellantis and Renault are also working on the subject, the new French sector of autonomous cars undoubtedly needs financial assistance.

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