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Self-driving bus pilot project approved by Brussels Airport

Posted: 23 April 2018 | | No comments yet

If all testing is completed successfully, by 2021 there will be an autonomous shuttle transporting passengers and staff around Brussels Airport…

Brussels airport

A pilot project for testing autonomous shuttles on the Brussels airport grounds has been approved by the airport and De Lijn.

The two companies partnered, studied self-driving shuttles and chose a constructor before giving full support to the project’s go-ahead.

“As an intermodal hub where various means of transport connect seamlessly with each other, Brussels Airport is constantly studying new possibilities for expanding this hub in a sustainable way. This technologically innovative project, deploying a self-driving electric bus operating a fixed route, fits in with our environmental commitment to keep the impact on our surroundings as low as possible,” said Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.

2getthere will start the project in the coming weeks. The contract is divided into two phases with the first covering the development and thorough testing of the technology until the middle of 2020. In autumn 2019, the first vehicle tests will be conducted at a testsite in Utrecht. If completed, the first self-driving bus will arrive at Brussels Airport in the beginning of 2020 for further test drives at the airport.

Dependent upon a positive evaluation of the testing, De Lijn and Brussels Airport Company will deploy the self-driving shuttle from 2021 on the airport grounds for the transport of passengers, visitors and staff on the route between the terminal and Brucargo.

Brussels Airport Company and De Lijn are sharing the project costs. De Lijn is responsible for the costs associated with people who travel by public transport to the airport and the airport operator will cover the costs of people who come to the airport by other means.

Flemish Minister for Mobility, Ben Weyts, said: “In other countries driverless vehicles are already operational, but that is often in a separate lane with a steward on board. Here, the aim is to have the self-driving shuttle drive autonomously on the public roads. We are making an investment in the future, in greater efficiency and in a more attractive range of public transport.”

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