The pilot region for autonomous transport
The provinces of Groningen, Fryslân, and Drenthe regard self-driving buses as a way of maintaining and improving the accessibility and quality of life in shrinkage regions. The provinces work together with the aim of becoming the pilot region for autonomous transport. They call on transport providers, manufacturers and knowledge institutes to come up with affordable, smart, flexible and sustainable concepts regarding autonomous transport.
Space and support
The three provinces offer space and support to transport providers, manufacturers and knowledge institutes in trying to find solutions for issues such as door-to-door transport (‘last mile’), healthcare, tourism/leisure, improved mobility of the disabled persons, the elderly, children or, indeed, rush-hour connection with trains. These are developments that are also issues at many other places in the world. In addition, ways are explored to strengthen the economic structure in the North and boost its industries.
Why opt for the Northern Netherlands?
Groningen, Drenthe and Fryslân together form a ‘living lab’ of over 11,000 km2 with a population of nearly 2 million, which is as many as, for example, Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht put together. The three provinces offer the space and opportunities for specific pilots. In this, they are prepared to take a flexible position and thereby facilitate innovative projects. The North offers a peaceful and safe environment for the development and testing of concepts in both urban and rural areas. Subsequently, the concepts can also be applied elsewhere in similar situations.
The aim of the initiative is to establish, within a period of ten years, various and sustainable forms of autonomous transport that are available via an app. This type of transport will provide inhabitants of rural areas with a maximum of freedom for living, working and starting up businesses in the Northern Netherlands. For this, several tests will be done in the coming years.