A self-driving mini-shuttle took its first trial drive on Monday at Brussels Airport, covering a distance of a few meters and stopping or slowing down autonomously.
The electric shuttle is the result of a jointly-led project by Brussels Airport and transport company De Lijn, as part of their ambition to increase investments in “intelligent mobility.
Monday’s trial run signals the start of a pilot-phase, currently under development, which will consist of further test drives in the course of 2020, with no passengers but with a steward on board, according to a statement released by De Lijn.
The objective of the test drives is to ensure that the shuttle can transport passengers safely in different types of weather and, most importantly, autonomously —with no steward on board.
If the trial goes as planned, the shuttle, manufactured by Dutch company 2GetThere, is expected to transport its first passengers in 2021.
The shuttle would drive at an average speed of 20 km/h, transporting staff and travellers between the terminal, the air cargo zones and the parking lots.