The First Autonomous Vehicle Allowed on French Roads

The EZ10, a self-driving car designed by EasyMile, was allowed on French roads. As a result, it became the first self-propelled vehicle in Europe to gain authorization for traffic on conventional roads.

EasyMile introduced the EZ10, called the Gearbox, to the public in 2015. The company has tested it in more than 30 countries around the world, including Singapore, the US, Finland, and Australia. EasyMile aims to actively use the autonomous vehicle created by it on private campuses, factories, airports, and other facilities.

The latest version of EZ10 can carry up to 15 people at a time. It is worth noting that a wheelchair for the disabled can be placed there, as well as the car has recently been equipped with an autonomous ramp. In addition, EasyMile, with the help of German startup Sono Motors, has installed solar-powered batteries in the EZ10 and increased the range of the vehicle.

EasyMile tested its car at a private medical campus in Toulouse, France. He was moving a distance of 600 meters between the entrance of the facility and the parking area. The road is shared by cyclists, pedestrians, as well as cars and buses. After confirming the safety and reliability of the service, the EZ10 received a permit to travel on French roads. As it is known, autonomous vehicles will be allowed to drive within the country from September 2022.

The newly published decree is an important development for automated driving. Similar legislative actions have been taken in Europe before, the UK government announcing that by the end of 2021, “hands-free” automated vehicles offering automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS) will be legal to operate on UK roads and Germany adopting legislation that will allow companies to deploy robotaxis and driverless delivery services on public roads by 2022 are two examples of these advancements. Nevertheless, the decree published by the French government seems to be the first one in Europe. France becomes the first European country to put in place a complete regulatory framework for the circulation of autonomous vehicles.