Renault’s Focus on Self-Driving Cars and Autonomous Minibusses

May 31, 2024

Renault’s Focus on Self-Driving Cars and Autonomous Minibusses

We all have dreamed of self-driving cars at some point. When someone asks us to picture a more advanced future society, flying and automated cars are the first image that comes to mind. One name that has taken another step in this direction is Renault Group.

Recently, Renault has shifted its focus to self-driving cars and efficient autonomous minibusses. Let’s see how Renault is accelerating into the future with cutting-edge technology & innovative concepts and if it’ll be able to compete with the already-standing names.

How Renault is Focusing on Such Vehicles

To elaborate on our previous point, Renault has stated that its main focus is focusing on self-driving cars and autonomous minibusses. Renault Group’s CTO Gilles Le Borgne announced that the company has shifted from developing Level 3 self-driving cars to concentrating on Level 4 minibusses operating only on specific routes. For the passenger car segment, Renault has advanced Level 2 features like adaptive lane-keeping assistance & cruise control. These features align with 90% of realized expectations.

Le Borgne further explained that in Level 3, everyone is responsible for the accident and must have very high reliability. This will, in turn, be very expensive to offer for the class of Renault’s clients. On the other hand, Renault partners with a Chinese start-up, WeRide, to develop electric self-driving minibusses with Renault’s van architecture and WeRide’s autonomous system. These minibusses are currently tested in China and are scheduled for public use during the French Open; however, the manufacturing of these cars is expected to start within the decade.

Renault has been a WeRide shareholder since 2021 and is preparing to operate autonomous minibusses in the UAE & Singapore, supported by new regulations in France and Germany. These Level 4 minibusses, ideal for regular routes without drivers or controls, will initially be built on the Renault Master van platform, with plans for a “skateboard” EV platform through the Flexis joint venture with Volvo AB.

Key points:

  •     While the French carmaker will continue to focus on driver assistance features for private vehicles for the time being, Renault said this week that it is investigating the development of autonomous minibusses for public transportation.
  •     Later this month, during the Roland-Garros tennis event in Paris, it will conduct a shuttle bus service with its partner WeRide to show that the technology is ready for public transportation.
  •     Many Renault models come with driving assistance systems that let drivers take their hands off the wheel, but they still need to remain alert and ready to take over the wheel immediately.

With continuous advancements in AI, machine learning, and sensor technologies, Renault is going to establish themselves at the forefront of this transportation revolution. They’re committed to making self-driving cars and autonomous minibusses a common sight on our roads in the not-so-distant future. In response to the increasing demands from public transit authorities in low-emission areas, Renault Group’s chief technology officer, Gilles Le Borgne, said that the company would be able to provide a variety of self-driving, lower-carbon minibusses by the end of this decade.