Groupe PSA is this week allowing 'non-expert' motorists to test its autonomous car, as a driver or a passenger, on the roads of the Paris region.

This operation is part of the roll-out of the AVA Autonomous Vehicle for All programme, intended to develop an easy to use, and intuitive, autonomous car. 

The AVA programme, presented at the Geneva show earlier this month, brings together a large range of functions that will gradually lead to the partial, and later total, delegation of the driving to the car itself. 

The demonstration models are equipped with function level 3 eyes off and 4 mind off. These are the forerunners of completely autonomous cars which will become available after 2020. 

Some driver assistance functions originating from the AVA programme are already available on several production vehicles and include adaptive cruise control with stop function, distance alert, active safety brake, lane keeping assist and park assist. 

Starting in 2018, automated driving functions under driver's supervision will be the second phase of the AVA programme. Some level 2 functions will be launched with the DS7 Crossback:

  •     The vehicle manages its speed and controls its trajectory. The Connected Pilot offers a complete assistance on fast roads.
  •     The vehicle parks itself without driver's action thanks to the Park Pilot.
  •     The embedded vehicle's equipment identifies the obstacles ensuring an increased night visibility thanks to Night Vision
  •     A camera inside the vehicle monitors the driver's attention thanks to the Driver Attention Monitoring. 

From 2020, autonomous driving functions hands off by level 3 eyes off functions, will enable the driver to completely delegate the driving to the vehicle. 

PSA was the first company to test autonomous cars on open roads in France, beginning in July 2015. This month it was first to experiment with non-experts behind the wheel. These tests began in early March 2017 and will continue until June.

To date, over 120,000 kilometres have been covered in autonomous mode (levels 2, 3 and 4) on European fast roads. A total of 15 prototypes are being used by the group and its partners.