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Renault, UTC and the CNRS join forces to create SIVALab, a shared research facility dedicated to perception and localization systems for autonomous vehicles

  • Renault and Heudiasyc, a joint research unit formed by UTC (Université de Technologie de Campiègne) and the CNRS, have created SIVALab, a laboratory specialising in localization and perception systems for autonomous vehicles.
  • This scientific and technological partnership has been set up for an initial, extendable period of four years. It is founded on an existing association that began more than 10 years ago and will use the Renault ZOE-based autonomous vehicle platforms developed by Heudiasyc.
  • SIVALab will be inaugurated in Compiègne on March 3, 2017, in the presence of personalities from the world of politics, including Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France region, along with representatives from the CNRS, UTC and Renault.

Renault and Heudiasyc, a joint research unit formed by UTC (Université de Technologie de Compiègne) and the CNRS, are creating a shared research laboratory known as SIVALab, to be based in Compiègne, north of Paris, France.

Shared laboratories embody a partnership between a research unit and a company to support long-term research. The partners sign a renewable agreement for a period of at least four years, laying down rules in advance on how the findings will be used and how intellectual property will be shared.

This scientific and technological partnership is founded on the relationship of trust that has been growing for more than 10 years between the research units of Renault and Heudiasyc. SIVALab (a French acronym for Integrated Systems for Autonomous Vehicles Lab) is being created to provide a structure geared to long-term scientific developments and major programmes.

The shared laboratory, whose governance and resources are being provided jointly by Renault and Heudiasyc, will deploy a four-year research programme on perception and localization systems supplying honest, reliable navigation data for communicating autonomous vehicles.

The collaboration’s main purpose is to study and develop autonomous vehicle localization and perception systems with a view to offering greater accuracy and reliability. In addition to sensors, data will be sourced and analysed from pre-defined navigation maps and dynamic connections from other users and the infrastructure. By smartly combining the data from these multiple sources, the vehicle will systematically turn out a better performance than with sensors alone, regardless of the situation.

“Our partnership strategy is to target the most appropriate laboratories for each research topic and cultivate long-term relationships of trust with them. This enables us to carry out large-scale, quality projects, while sharing our vision and focusing our resources. We chose the Heudiasyc lab to work on the technology building blocks of perception and localization for tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles”, explains Virginie Maillard, VP, Research & Strategy, Groupe Renault.

“The Heudiasyc laboratory has been exploring intelligent vehicles for some 20 years, in line with the strategy of its supervisory institutions, UTC and CNRS. A few years ago, we joined up with Renault for perception and localization because we share the same vision of the related scientific and technological issues. Furthermore, the shared laboratory SIVALab will be using Heudiasyc’s autonomous vehicle platforms based on the Renault ZOE. These platforms are being financed through the Equipex Robotex program (as an ‘equipment of excellence’), with the support of the Hauts-de-France region and the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). Road tests will be considered as part of a partnership with the Compiègne region urban agglomeration”, said Heudiasyc chief Ali Charara.

SIVALab will be inaugurated on March 3, 2017, in Compiègne, in the presence of some of the region’s key figures, such as Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France region, and Philippe Marini, Mayor of Compiègne, along with representatives from the CNRS, UTC and Renault.

About Groupe Renault

Groupe Renault has been making cars since 1898. Today it is an international multi-brand group, selling close to 3.2 million vehicles in 127 countries in 2016, with 36 manufacturing sites, 12,700 points of sales and employing more than 120,000 people. To meet the major technological challenges of the future and continue its strategy of profitable growth, the Group is harnessing its international growth and the complementary fit of its three brands, Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors, together with electric vehicles and the unique Alliance with Nissan. With a new team in Formula 1 and a strong commitment to Formula E, Renault sees motorsport as a vector of innovation and brand awareness.

About UTC

UTC is both a French national university and an engineering school, with autonomous training and pedagogy and an innovation-intensive, interdisciplinary technological research program. UTC produces graduates (engineers, Master’s degree, PhDs) capable of taking into account the interactions of technologies with Mankind and Society at large and of evolving in a world-scale competitive environment, with the aim of complying with sustainable development policies. The UTC lecturers, research scientists and engineers “lend meaning to innovation”, enabling the emergence of new axes underpinning this concept, introducing entrepreneurship principles in the heart of their concerns.

About CNRS

A leading research organization in Europe and the world, the CNRS carries out its core mission to advance knowledge, drawing on all its disciplines and on its ability to coordinate and unite them. The CNRS carries out research in every scientific, technological and societal field. Its covers all scientific disciplines, including mathematics, physics, information and communications technology and science, nuclear and particle physics, earth sciences and astronomy, chemistry, biological sciences, humanities and social sciences, environmental sciences and engineering. One of the CNRS’s current priorities is to strengthen the promotion and application of research results, which is achieved through the co-development of scientific partnerships with companies and effective collaboration tools such as shared laboratories. In France, the Nord-Pas de Calais and Picardie regional delegation provides direct, local administration of laboratories and maintains ties with local partners and authorities.

About Heudiasyc

Heudiasyc (Heuristics and Diagnostics for Complex Systems), a joint research unit between the Université de Technologie de Compiègne and the CNRS, operates in the field of information and communications technology and science – namely, computer science, automation, robotics, decision making and image processing. The laboratory has several experimental platforms and demonstrators, including a railway supervision platform, smart/autonomous vehicles, drones and an immersive virtual reality room. Four teams carry out Heudiasyc’s scientific activities: ASER (Automation, Embedded Systems, Robotics), DI (Decisions, Images), RO (Networks, Optimisation) and ICI (Information, Knowledge, Interaction). The laboratory is staffed by 155 people and hosts about 50 trainees every year. Heudiasyc coordinates two projects under France’s “Investments for the Future” programme (PIA): Labex MS2T and Equipex Robotex (mobile robotics). Its activities seamlessly incorporate the region’s strategic agenda, in particular regarding mobility, smart transportation and digital technologies.

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