The Northern Netherlands has about half of all the rivers, canals and other waterways in the Netherlands and, for that reason alone, it lends itself well to conducting tests with autonomous transport on the water. Water sports and freight haulage are important to the northern economy. Moreover, Groningen has the seaport of Eemshaven, and for seaports, autonomous navigation also tends to be of great interest.

Groningen Seaports from serge ligtenberg on Vimeo.

Autonomous navigation can be used as a kind of taxi service in e.g. the cities of Groningen and Leeuwarden, as is shown by the test now taking place in Paris. The advantage is that it is a fast, clean and flexible form of travelling through the city, independent from all the other traffic. In Groningen, for example, the water is in relatively close proximity to a lot of important destinations. It can also serve as an alternative to regular public transport at times when there are diversions or traffic congestions.

Moreover, autonomous navigation can also be of interest when big ships have to be piloted into ports like Eemshaven. These ports have narrow channels through which big ships are typically piloted by means of tug- or towboats. Autonomous ships are very suitable for this kind of work; they are able to pilot ships into the port in a straight line, safely, and at lower energy costs.

With its wide canals, large lakes, and various seaports, the north has an infrastructure that offers a lot of space to autonomous transport on the water. At the moment, there are no projects for autonomous transport on the water yet. If you have ideas, you can contact us!

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