The province of Fryslân sees opportunities for autonomous transport as a solution for mobility issues. The public transport system offers one of those opportunities. It is expected that, in the future, autonomous transport is going to provide flexible and demand-oriented mobility: it would become possible for a person to send for an autonomous vehicle by means of an app. However, the present technological situation is not yet advanced enough. So the focus is currently on gaining experience with, for example, a timetable on short routes. An autonomous vehicle could create a connection between a population centre and the pick-up point of buses and trains. The idea is to have a shuttle service along a one-to-two-kilometer-long route.
A precise location is not yet known, so the province of Fryslân welcomes suggestions.
The objective is to keep population centers accessible by means of public-transport connections while passenger numbers remain unchanged. Moreover, the vehicle is independently capable of finding its way to its various stops, while gathering information about the behavior of other road users.
The passengers (the users) take center stage. Autonomous transport is a novelty that is beyond the immediate control of human beings. Progress can be made by letting people experience it and preparing them for the future in which a computer is in control of the steering wheel rather than a human being. Passengers will have to get used to that.
The project is currently looking for parties that would like to join us in running a pilot.