Recently, on the VINCI Autoroutes motorway network, an autonomous car crossed a tollgate in a full autonomous mode, for the first time. A Citroën C4 Picasso from Groupe PSA’s autonomous vehicles fleet crossed through the toll station at Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines (France, Paris area) without driver’s assistance thanks to a specific communication between the vehicle and the infrastructure.
This test in real traffic conditions shows a significant step forward in the autonomous car development towards the level 4. This is the outcome of a development program started in 2016 which seals the collaboration between two major players in the field of mobility: the Groupe PSA and VINCI Autoroutes, the biggest operator of motorway infrastructure in Europe.
• A guidance system has been deployed 500 metres ahead of the Saint-Arnoult toll. This allows the autonomous car to follow a pre-recorded trajectory which guides the car to the toll gate lane that has been selected and equipped.
• A pass through permission is sent to the vehicle, indicating whether the gate is open or not. The infrastructure gives the information to the autonomous car using a Road Side Unit (RSU) positioned 300 metres before the toll station at the edge of the motorway, and connected to the toll station system. The RSU uses the ITS G5 protocol, the reference system for the connected vehicles communication to transmit its data.
• The toll station’s information system has also been modified to allow autonomous cars to pass through it. It enables a real-time analysis of the availability of the lane and ensures that the conditions allow the vehicle to safely pass through the gate. The permission thus issued is then sent to the autonomous car by the RSU antenna.
• Finally, for this test, the C4 Picasso autonomous vehicle was issued with an electronic toll card enabling it to go through the lanes on autonomous mode.