Drone operations among first 15 projects launched under French innovation programme Propulse

The French Transport Innovation Agency has selected the first projects that will be supported by its acceleration programme, Propulse. The results were announced by Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, Minister Delegate in charge of Transport on 17 December 2021. While the majority relate to reducing emissions in conventional road, marine and rail sectors, one project will establish a dedicated flight area for testing, demonstrating and training solar-powered drone operations.

According to the transport ministry:

Propulse was launched on August 30 by the Transport Innovation Agency (AIT) as a program to support and accelerate innovation for transport. Several calls for projects have been initiated:

  • A call for “sustainable transport” projects   which aims to support high-impact projects for the decarbonisation of transport, in order to facilitate experimentation and scaling up
  • A “Data Communities” call for projects   which aims to bring together entities providing data and providers of solutions within the mobility ecosystem, to promote collaboration in the exchange and development of mobility data
  • A call for “Intrapreneurship” projects to provide support for projects internal to the ministry
  • A call for projects “Development of spaces for multiple use/U-SPACE” which is part of a process of better management of air traffic for drones at very low altitude in Europe and shared access to airspace safe and efficient

After a hearing phase before a jury made up of renowned figures from the sector, 15 “Sustainable Transport” and “Data Communities” projects were selected, so that they could be supported by AIT from the start of 2022.

For the call for “sustainable transport” projects , nine projects were selected:

  • “Multimodal integration tool for zero-emission urban delivery” carried by BFT Transport;
  • “Modular and shared batteries for electric vehicles” carried by EP Tender;
  • “Hybridization of lithium batteries with supercapacitors”, carried by K-Motors
  • “Immersive serious game to guide young people towards sustainable mobility” led by Mobi.deep and Transdev Artois-Gohelle.
  • “Electro-hydrogen propulsion vessels” carried by Neptech;
  • “Transport of goods via cargo ship” carried by TOWT;
  • “Training in eco-driving of buses in virtual reality” carried out by Transdev;
  • “Cargo containers for aircraft cabins” carried by Xfret;
  • “Solar powered drones” carried by XSun.

For the “Data communities” call for projects, six projects were selected:

  • “Improved accessibility to the Roissy platform and to the CDG2 railway station” carried out by ADP and SNCF Gares et Connexions;
  • “Augmented Transport & Logistics data platform” supported by AI Cargo;
  • “Mobility Data Hub, mobility data platform”, supported by CEREMA /IFPEN/INRIA;
  • “Airport Keeper, solution generalizing the concept of Airport Collaborative Decision Making” supported by Innov’ATM;
  • “Aggregation and sharing of logistics freight data” carried by Urban Radar;
  • “Improving the safety of women in public transport” led by Transdev

In addition, the Minister wished to intensify the support already provided by the Ministry of Transport to the project led by ADP and RATP of air urban mobility demonstrations on the occasion of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris 2024. The project will be supported by the AIT, in particular on multimodal integration in urban areas. The project thus joins the innovative projects already supported by the Ministry of Transport and its partners within the framework of the call for innovations “Mobility for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris 2024”, the winners of which were announced in May 2021 and which are already supported in order to allow their demonstration during the Games.

(Image: Xsun solar powered drone)

More details on Propulse are available here

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