Renault announces the production of a level 4 autonomous robot minibus

Renault brings important changes to its autonomous vehicle strategy. And they are serious, because they announced the production (without specifying dates, of course) of a robotic electric minibus based on the new Renault Master. It aims to be the ideal platform that is then customized by specialized mobility partners such as EasyMile, Milla and WeRide. They assure that more companies will be announced in the future.

It has been a surprise that the Gauls are now focusing their most advanced autonomous technologies on the public transport sector, separating individual vehicles from the needs of public transport. In fact, Renault assures that it is unlikely that they will offer “much more than Level 2 Autonomy” in their consumer vehicles in the near future.

Most Renault models already offer a multitude of driving assistants in most of their models, but the company's press release points out that “the automation of some functions, with the aim of achieving complete autonomy of the vehicle, seems “unlikely at the moment, given current regulations, customer expectations and the cost of the complex technology involved.”

It's a radical change from the concept cars we've seen from Renault over the last decade, where they showcased high-end autonomous consumer vehicles every year. They now recognize that “there is a significant technological complexity gap between the L2 and L3 automation level, because the vehicle must be able to operate safely in complex environments with limited driver supervision.” The cost that customers would have to bear, in relation to the benefits of driving, would make the demand insufficient or anecdotal.

Just in case, they do not set limits, since they ensure that the architecture of their vehicles can evolve towards the autonomous car “if expectations, regulations or the cost of the technologies make this advance possible.” Regarding public transport, the Renault Group sees the importance of offering autonomous vehicles, “whose annual need is estimated at several thousand minibuses in the coming years.”

At Roland Garros, which runs until June 9, 2024, and Renault and WeRide are already running electric and autonomous shuttles to help with access to the stadium during matches to test. A great opportunity to test the near future of motorsport and the growing maturity of autonomous technology.

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