The driverless pod maker Navya is trialling a new service connecting a railway station in the Drome region with a village three miles away.
The shuttle, from Crest station to Ecosite du Val de Drome will be the first to run in a rural area on roads open to normal traffic.
The shuttle will serve seven stops en route.
Navya says the trial will provide an opportunity to meet many challenges alternating between urban and rural areas. It explains that most of the experiments with autonomous vehicles are located in towns, on a dedicated site or in a largely marked environment. The rural area “constitutes a still unexplored field of experimentation”, it says.