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PSA prototype travels 580km from Paris to Bordeaux in autonomous mode

On 2 October, one of PSA Peugeot Citroën’s four autonomous vehicles drove itself 580 km (360 miles) on the highway from Paris to Bordeaux entirely in autonomous mode to take part in the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress, which runs until 9 October. The car autonomously adjusted its speed and changed lanes to overtake, taking into account other vehicles, speed limits and infrastructure.

In July 2015, the Group became the first carmaker to obtain the relevant authorizations to carry out open road tests in France using 4 autonomous prototypes, with 15 such models in 2016.


The vehicle, which functions as autonomous level 3 (full automation in certain situations without driver control, but with driver intervention if necessary) combines data using prototype sensors (laser scanner, multifunction cameras, radars, GPS).

  • Speed is adapted to the surrounding environment, taking into account the presence of other vehicles, road infrastructure and the applicable speed limit.

  • Lane tracking and high-precision GPS route tracking guide the vehicle’s steering.

  • The vehicle can change lanes automatically including for overtaking, pulling back in, etc.


The journey made by our prototype today proves that autonomous vehicles are no longer of matter of science fiction. This ushers in a new era for mobility, which I find truly exciting.

—Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroën

PSA plans to introduce autonomous functions in its series-production vehicles in 2018.



Just right! I'd normally trade in in 2019.

I've noticed that a lot of Peugeot drivers are complete idiots, me for instance, so that is one less on the road!


A question would be: from where in Paris to where in Bordeaux?
I.e. was it all on motorway, or was it in cities.
My guess is it was all motorway.
Nonetheless it is a great achievement.
Well done Peugeot!
(Ex P205 owner).


They are making progress but a DARPA sponsored Carnegie Mellon group drove a car without the driver ever taking control from probably Pittsburgh to San Diego at least 12 years ago



They specified: 'on the highway'

That would do me, together with traffic jam assist and autocruise with speed limit recognition from 0 mph.

If I were going to see my brother, for instance, I would be driving the first and last mile, and the car would be taking care of the 120 miles in between.


What would you be doing during the almost 2 hours (120 miles), where would you keep your hands, feet, how quickly would you be able to react from a relaxed position, if needed?
I think it would be as tiring as driving if driver wants to stay ready to intervene, so what is the point.
If driver wants to use that time to sleep, then it's much safer to do it at the back, in a horizontal position, perhaps in a safe chair to be invented.
I don't ever use cruise control. People who do keep their right foot on the floor. In emergency it would take at least a second to move it to the brake or gas pedal, it's unacceptably long time of reaction at highway speeds.

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WIRED has some of the best articles about self-driving cars that I have read. Below is the link for one about Google's new self-driving pod. Google will soon have 150 vehicles on the road doing 30,000 miles per week of fully autonomous driving. Google's software is done with regard to high-way driving (the easiest to make self-driving possible) and the focus now is on city traffic. So far they only got a permit for 35mph city driving for the fully self-driving Google car. Google want to commercialize this technology by 2019 without making their own cars. My bet is that Google will operate a commercial taxi service using this technology as a development and demonstration platform. The real business for Google will be to offer the technology and its back-end systems to auto-makers. That could be Tesla or GM if they do not develop their own independent technology on the field. In any case I am hugely excited about the potential for self-driving technology to overcome the otherwise prohibitively high capital cost of making affordable long-range BEVs. Self-driving tech is really the catalyst that we need to get affordable and non-polluting transportation for everybody including kids, old people and sick people that do not have a driver licence or simply can't drive.


I use cruise control all the time at the moment, and it does not take a second to get my feet back on the pedals.

The reason for that is that just as when driving normally, you watch the traffic, so as soon as there is any question of a need to resume control your feet are automatically and quite unconsciously back over the pedals, just as in normal driving you are aware when braking or acceleration may be needed, and 'prime' yourself.

I like to think that I am one of the 50% of drivers who are below average, but then you see the other guys and realise how tough it is to get into that esteemed category.

So given half way decent autonomy, I don't think it will be tough at all for an automated car to perform better than 90% of drivers even if you paid it no attention at all.

I'm just not a nervous passenger, and would pretty much let the car get on with it, just as I do when I am in a train or a bus - the driver may be rubbish, but I am not going to worry about it - I'd probably do worse.


Autonomous drive smaller city e-buses could quickly become a win-win solution. Our badly dressed, unshaved, overpaid ($128,000+ CAN/year) drivers could progressively take (welcomed) early retirements.

The same could be done with most taxi drivers?


The size of driverless e-buses could vary to match passenger load and traffic conditions.

A compromise between passenger service level and general city traffic loading effects could be reached on an hourly basis with variable capacity bus trains.

Smaller low noise driverless e-buses could operate on more streets and suburb areas to increase passenger service level.

Eventually, many cities will have special (restricted) lanes for driveless e-buses to accelerate passenger movements in and out of city cores and to and from lower traffic density suburb areas.

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