by Tom Bosschaert

May 26, 2016

Tom Bosschaert

Will the self-driving car contribute to a sustainable urban society? Google Car and other futuristic looking vehicles are going viral, even before they appear in public streets. They make designers dream of safe and congestion free roads. Self-driving cars hold the promise of clean, energy efficient, and affordable transport for everyone. But what part of this dream can turn into reality? And how far away is that future?

Except initiated the "self-driving city" program in 2015 in cooperation with the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH) and the Dutch National Infrastructure Authority (Rijkswaterstaat). It is supported by funding of the Creative Industries Fund. In the process, we involve different stakeholders from sciences, industries, and governments.

Many enterprises invest in autonomous vehicles and the technology required to make them go. Sensor technology and mapping systems are a few of the technologies involved. Developments on the tech side of the transition towards self-driving vehicles will not be the limiting factor. Questions about the needs of society and legislature remain.

Autonomous Vehicle pilots

Autonomous vehicles (AV) are no recent development in the Netherlands. The harbour of Rotterdam deploys autonomous driving containers to handle shipping. In 1999, Capelle aan den IJssel was a world wide front runner by introducing self-driving shuttle busses that take people from a metro station to the Rivium business park. Several municipalities in the Rotterdam The Hague region examine the feasibility of similar initiatives. The outlines of a regional network of AV shuttle services are starting to appear. Except contributes to these cases and processes the insights in its overlapping research case.

Self-Driving City on tour

Self-Driving City is open for debate on different stages and events. June 9th, Except organizes our Grid Night with the topic Let's Move! It deals with how people will move around in the future, and the impact for our cities. Register here.

We present the first insights of our research during a theme night on June 27th, at Pakhuis de Zwijger. At The Hague’s Crossing Border Festival, July 6th and 7th, Except offers a Self-Driving City workshop in cooperation with Hogeschool Rotterdam.

After summer, the analysis and cases result in a vision document. This contains strategies for the transition towards self-driving systems, and offers advice to planners and politicians to maximize sustainability effects of the self-driving vehicle.

May 26, 2016