For their public amenities, people living in the Veenkoloniën often depend on the larger population centers such as Stadskanaal, Ter Apel, Borger, Gieten and Emmen. For most people in the area, these larger centers are relatively far away. They very much depend on their cars and good public transport connections. Bus services through the villages are infrequent. Self-driving vehicles to and from the public transport system can improve the quality of life and accessibility of the area.
The most suitable routes for pilots are roads that are relatively quiet. The main routes tend to run along (filled-in) canals, have been spaciously laid out, and have few curves or complicated junctions. Due to its ribbon development, a relatively large part of the region lies within the built-up area.
The routes in the villages with their ribbon development are relatively long. For the self-driving vehicles to play their full part in the public transport system, the speed of the self-driving vehicles will have to go up. Another challenge will be to get away from fixed timetables and provide customized transport.
The provincial authorities of Drenthe are now looking for concrete routes for the introduction of autonomous transport.