Lyon Demonstrator Site

Lyon has over 2.2 million inhabitants, making it the second largest urban area in France after Paris. Life sciences and green-technologies are the pillars of Lyon’s industrial dynamic, with many leading companies in these fields. With 13,300 researchers and some 600 laboratories, the city’s major research and higher-education establishments attest to its innovation capabilities. Thanks to an excellent transport infrastructure, Lyon is under 2 hours away from all major European cities and you can fly to over 115 destinations from Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport. The Lyon public transit system, which is called the TCL (Transports en Commun Lyonnais) consists of metros, tramways and buses serving 59 communes within the Lyon agglomeration and is operated by Keolis Lyon.


The first demonstration site was situated in the Lyon Confluence district, which is a 150-hectare site located in the heart of Lyon that revolved around industry and its river port. This area has been recognized as an eco-friendly district by the French government, as a sustainable district by the WWF, and has acquired the European label Concerto, for the low energetic consumption of its buildings. The Lyon-Confluence project is one of Europe’s biggest urban projects to develop a city centre. Here, two vehicles operated from morning to evening, from Monday to Saturday on a 1.5km route, providing a great service to the local population until cessation of activity in early 2020.

The operations were then refocused on a new site in the Groupama stadium area situated in Décines, a commune of the Lyon metropolitan area, which hosts hotels, medical centers, recreation centers, and office buildings. The deployment started late 2019 consisted of a 2.6km round trip with a fixed course on a highly frequented open road (with a roundabout with more than 45,000 vehicles a day), and strong pedestrian traffic. This service continued until March 2020 when the COVID outbreak put an end to the experiment. By February 2021, a new tramway had been introduced and the evolving mobility needs in the area meant that the autonomous buses were no longer sufficient to meet the demand. It was then decided to extend the route to 3.5km but above all to move from a fixed route service to an on-demand transport service, which offers a complementary option to the conventional public transport offer. This service was available from April to October 2022 by reservation via a smartphone application. The operation was carried out from Tuesday to Saturday, from 12:00 to 20:00. This demonstration has made it possible to serve passengers in the Groupama stadium area, and has actively contributed to the development of this region.

Lyon site achievements

  • First on-demand service without the intervention of a safety driver
  • Integration of autonomous shuttles in a difficult social environment
  • Development of new V2x functionalities
  • Support the economic development of a new district by proposing a new mobility offer integrated into the public transport network
  • Help establish the basis for future French regulation
  • Simulation of difficulties on a test site
  • Social survey

A few figures

  • 78,000km traveled
  • 51,000 passengers carried

More information about these sites can be found within the demonstration report – deliverable 7.6 on the dedicated Keolis Website page and within the various related press release (see below). See also the dedicated brochure and operational data summary.

Map of the Groupama Stadium demo

Video of the Groupama Stadium demonstration site

News and Media Coverage