Akiem enters autonomous railpod project in France

autonomous railpodsAkiem and Taxirail, a mobility startup, signed a letter of intent for a financial and industrial partnership to develop autonomous railpods offering regional authorities across France an innovative solution for the long-term viability of their local lines.

“Rail plays a major role in today’s world and saving local lines is vital to preserving economic activity at the local level. Our regions need services that are efficient, tailored to the needs of local people and fully aligned with the ecological transition. TaxirailTM is an innovative concept that meets these challenges by offering the prospect of increased service frequencies at lower cost. We are very excited about working together to promote this new model,” Arnaud Deloumeau, the Director of Passenger Train Projects at Akiem said.

The companies will finalise the development of TaxirailTM vehicle concept developed in Brittany by innovation office Exid Concept & Développement and its partners.

Designed to densify traffic on local lines, Taxirail’s autonomous shuttles offer an alternative to journeys by road, encouraging a modal shift to low-carbon transport in line with Paris climate conference commitments and helping to revitalise the territories where they will operate.

Within the partnership, Akiem will provide its technical and financial rolling stock expertise to support Taxirail SAS during the final product development phases, as well as to help put together comprehensive financing and operational solutions for transport authorities.

In the next five years, TaxirailTM intends to put into service 200 autonomous autonomous railpods as part of projects with regional authorities.

“In addition to numerous signs of interest from local authorities, this partnership boosts the credibility of TaxirailTM as a demonstration of the market’s interest in our innovative solution. Access to the expertise of a major rail industry player like Akiem ensures that future TaxirailTM customers will benefit from outstanding know-how and an international maintenance footprint for servicing the modules,” Régis Coat Chairperson of Taxirail SAS and Exid C&D said.

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