Dutch autonomous shuttle to go on public roads in 2018

autonomous Connexxion shuttle in Capelle
The autonomous Connexxion shuttle in Capelle in the Netherlands is barring along for nearly two decades already. It will enter public roads in 2018.

Autonomous park shuttle into its 18th year, moving to public roads in 2018

Since 1999, the Greater Rotterdam Area has this small autonomous shuttle driving around in a business park. From 2018 onwards, it looks like that the autonomous vehicle will drive  on public roads, between other modes of traffic. With this, the developers ‘2getthere’ and the municipality of ‘Capelle aan de Ijssel’ have the world premiere of the first autonomous system on a public road that won’t have a safety driver or steward in the vehicle.

On the road in 2018

In November, the Metropool Rotterdam – Den Haag (MRDH) decided already to extend the concession of transport company Connexxion until the end of 2018. Capelle expressed at that time the ambition to renew the current system to allow the shuttle to drive on public roads and to expand the route. Thanks to a 4.25 million euro investment by Verkeersonderneming [Traffic enterprise, a cooperation between the city of Den Haag, Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Harbour and the federal Ministry of infrastructure] this ambition becomes a reality.

Innovative Transportation Hub

City councillor of Traffic and Transport Dick van Sluis: “Our ambition is to turn Rivium Business Park into a hub of innovative transportation. The route of the Parkshuttle will be extended to the base of the Van Brienenoord bridge where it will have a connection with the waterbus (operating on the Maas river in Rotterdam – Hans). Besides the route extension we are also going to offer electric bike share bikes at Rivium and we are going to allow all modes of transportation such as cars, bicycles, waterbus and Parkshuttle to connect properly. The bike will be supplied by GoBike, which receives an amount of 1.6 million euro from Verkeersonderneming.

Considerable growth

Currently, the Parkshuttle moves 2400 passengers daily without interference of a (bus)driver, but if it is up to Capelle this could grow a lot. Councillor van Sluis: ”We are researching the possibilities to let the Parkshuttle connect with Erasmus University. Through this route extension, and the connection to other modes of traffic, we expect a considerable growth in passengers. Also, we are anticipating the developments around [soccer club] Feyenoord City, where visitors to soccer games and events can depart from Rivium Business Park by watertaxi to the stadium [across the river-Hans].”

Source: Verkeersnet https://www.verkeersnet.nl/21896/parkshuttle-gaat-autonoom-de-openbare-weg-op/

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