First tests with autonomous bus at Brussels Airport by 2020
Dutch manufacturer 2GetThere is going to build a self-driving bus for Brussels Airport. Tests with the bus are planned by 2020, first passengers would be allowed as from 2021. The driver-less bus will take visitors from the national airport to and from the bus stations and the industrial zone at the cargo airport Brucargo.
“The shuttle will be the first autonomous vehicle driving around in mixed traffic”, according to the two parties working on it, public transport company De Lijn and Brussels Airport. While most autonomous vehicles use surrounding-sensors for orientation, here magnets will be implemented in the road surface to guide the bus along a fixed trajectory.
First tests on factory site
Both parties already signed an agreement in principle about self-driving shuttles in 2015. 2GetThere, the company that will make the bus, already has experience with autonomous vehicles in the Netherlands and the Middle East.
First tests will be executed in 2019 on the factory site, later on at the airport itself. If tests are positive the shuttle will transport its first passengers as from the beginning of 2021, at limited speed and under supervision of a dispatcher. Brussels Airport and De Lijn will share the costs of the project.
State of the art technology
“This is real state of the art technology and appealing to my imagination”, says Flemish Mobility Minister, Ben Weyts (N-VA). “Other countries already have self-driving vehicles but there is always a steward on board. Here the self-driving shuttle will navigate completely autonomously on public roads.”
Germany launched a similar autonomous shuttle in October 2017.
In the meantime De Lijn is studying the feasibility of autonomous shuttles in several cities but plans for it are scarcely out of the egg.
Begin 2020 eerste tests met zelfrijdende bus op luchthaven van Zaventem
Luchthaven bestelt zelfrijdende bus