December 11, 2017

CNES gives presentation at 15th annual conference organized by Technion France “Galileo and autonomous vehicles”

Monday 11 December, the 15th annual Technion France conference was held under the high patronage of President Emmanuel Macron at the Maison de la Chimie in Paris. CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall spoke at the session on urban mobility and connectivity, where he underlined the role that Europe’s Galileo geolocation system is set to play in the advent of autonomous vehicles.

Jean-Yves Le Gall began by recalling the deployment of initial Galileo services. Available since 15 December 2016, these services are already benefiting iPhone 8 and Samsung 8 users. The Galileo system is expected to reach full operational capability in 2020, when it will include a high-precision geolocation service and an authentication service.

CNES’s President then underlined some of the key issues facing autonomous vehicles that Galileo will help solve, notably institutional and regulatory issues, for while safety today remains mostly in the hands of drivers, tomorrow it will be assured by autonomous systems, which makes cooperation between the public and private sectors essential.

Another important issue is of a technological and industrial order, as with plans to roll out solutions over more than 10 years, the gradual deployment of autonomous vehicles raises dependability and geolocation questions concerning perception of the near environment and interaction with drivers. For this reason, autonomous vehicle geolocation will need to be extremely precise and reliable.

Autonomous vehicles are fuelling fierce competition to develop new technologies in the automobile sector, especially with the arrival of the GAFA web giants and their data culture. Rather than go it alone, automobile manufacturers have opted to respond to this competitive challenge by spawning a new ecosystem and reinventing the industry, offering great opportunities to innovate for start-ups and SMEs.

In conclusion, Jean-Yves Le Gall emphasized the strong need to conduct trials to give governments enough data to inform policy decisions and legislation, and to allow industry to craft innovations for autonomous vehicles. He added: “Cooperation between the public and private sectors will be a guarantee of success in this regard, and I hope there will more gatherings like today’s to move forward on this subject that is going to shape the future of our societies.”

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51