Together with the municipalities of Noordwijk and Katwijk, ESA ESTEC, Arriva and Rebel Automated Shuttles, the province of Zuid-Holland set up a project with self-driving minibuses.
What we do
In 2018, the feasibility of the project was examined and the project was outlined and defined. All parties involved signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) on 19 February 2019 as the final piece of this phase.
On ESA’s enclosed private property, a maximum speed of 30 kilometres per hour applies and strict camera surveillance. ESA is the land-based owner and road authority on-site, with cars, buses, trucks, service vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles and employees moving from one building to another.
Off-site the route to the bus stop runs on the public road managed by the municipality of Katwijk and Noordwijk. The ESA ESTEC environment is therefore very favourable for gaining learning experiences with new technology, because driving is first possible on an enclosed terrain and the roads outside the terrain are relatively easy to navigate. In addition, this is an environment where new technology is easily embraced. Here, self-driving shuttles will be tested in two phases, first on-site and then in combination with public transport off-site outside the gate.
Why we do it
With this pilot, the province wants to increase the reachability of ESA ESTEC, test whether this type of technology is suitable for use in other places in the province and develop knowledge in the field of self-driving vehicles and to make public transport more efficient and attractive. In this trial, specific attention will be paid to the transport of people with a physical or mental disability.
The outcome of the project is not yet known. The preparation took place in the spring and summer period, in which the Navya vehicle has been acquired and technically programmed, and the stewards have been trained and the infrastructure is being prepared. The first rides will start in September with a limited group of users and researchers.
After the opening on October 29, Arriva’s schedule will start on-site. The intended result is a new transport system (with several shuttles) suitable for disabled people, which is automated and integrates with the current public transport, and brings the employees and visitors at the ESA location to their final destination. We focus on gaining experience and answering knowledge questions.