Photo: Navya bus at Mondial Paris Motor Show, 2018. The type that will drive in Drimmelen.
In the port area of Drimmelen, a self-driving shuttle van from Navya will be operating this summer. It is a trial that took two years to complete. The National Road Traffic Service finally gave the green light on Tuesday. The van will actually be put into service from 5 August.
Several routes within the municipality have been investigated and previously the focus was on routes in rural areas. However, these turned out to be unsuitable after further investigation. On most routes in the countryside, the road turned out to be too narrow or the driver / flight attendant had to intervene too often. The requirements that the vehicle demands from the environment or the need for transport in the area in question were reasons for not choosing those routes. This is how the port area of Drimmelen came into the picture.
It is the first time in the Netherlands that a self-driving van will drive with other road users in “such a complex environment”. "Such a project involves a lot of things and safety must be closely monitored," says the municipality of Drimmelen. It therefore took a while before the RDW could make a decision about the exemption application.
Coincidentally, the type of Navya van recently made the news more often. In addition to several other cities, projects with this type of bus were also running in Paris and Vienna, but both projects were stopped last week. In Vienna, the reason was a collision with an inattentive pedestrian, the investigation is still ongoing. Stopping the project in Paris would have nothing to do with this.
In Drimmelen, the van has been driving for a month with a temporary exemption, without passengers. This way the van could be programmed well. The van is equipped with dozens of sensors and cameras that register other traffic. This way the risk of accidents is minimized.
The municipality started the project because initially a number of bus lines were cut, while residents of the municipality did need these bus lines. Ultimately, Drimmelen set to work with the province, the Future Mobility Network, BUAS, Arriva and TU Delft, among others.
The van runs at a maximum speed of twenty kilometers per hour. A maximum of eight people can travel. No payment is required for use. For those who can't wait, you can also take the autonomous vehicle on July 30; there is then an introduction to this new form of transport.
Autonomous shuttle bus runs into pedestrian in Vienna, trial stopped