Self-driving buses: the future of public transport?

The Province of Zuid-Holland is an important financier of the start of a test with self-driving minibuses (shuttles) on the ESA ESTEC grounds in Noordwijk.

Regional Minister Floor Vermeulen: “It is important for the province to know whether the self-driving technology can make an actual contribution to the provincial objective to have the province be the best accessible province in the Netherlands. And whether it matches our motto for the coming years: Better each day.”

New technology

Other participants are transport provider Arriva, Future Mobility Network and Rebel Automated Shuttles. The environment of ESA ESTEC is good for gaining learning experiences with a new technology, because the driving will initially take place in an enclosed area. It is also an environment where new technology is easily embraced.

Learning by doing

The project uses a ‘learning by doing’ approach. The result of the project is no ordinary bus transport system. It is an experimental transport system aimed at experiences, at doing and at learning questions. The test is to clarify whether self-driving transport is cheaper, more efficient, more service-oriented and safer than the traditional vehicles.


The insights of this test may contribute to the possible introduction and broader use of automated moving public transport in the Province of Zuid-Holland concessions.