The Dutch manufacturer 2GetThere will make the first self-driving electric bus for Brussels Airport in Zaventem. The vehicle is due to be tested at the airport at the beginning of 2020, and to be able to carry passengers from 2021. Belga has learned the information from De Lijn and Brussels Airport, the two companies sharing the project costs.
The Flemish public transport company and the airport operator concluded an agreement in principle in 2015, regarding the self-driving shuttle bus. After undertaking user studies, manufacture of the vehicle has now been entrusted to 2GetThere based in Utrecht. The company has experience in the sphere of self-driven vehicles, particularly in the Netherlands and the Middle East.
The company 2GetThere will initially develop the technology. In Autumn 2019, the bus should be tested on the premises of the Dutch company. Test tracks will then be moved to Brucargo (the air freight and luggage company at Brussels Airport), at the beginning of 2020.
If the tests prove positive, passengers and employees may be carried from 2021 onwards between the terminal and Brucargo. De Lijn and Brussels Airport said, “The shuttle bus will be the first self-driving vehicle in Belgium to mingle with the traffic.” The bus will move at a controlled speed and under the supervision of a “dispatcher”.