In the Northern Netherlands, autonomous transport is moving from pilot to practice

More than 350 visitors came to the second edition of the @north event on the sugar terrain in Groningen last Thursday, April 6. On the site, visitors could actually see and experience the current developments in autonomous transport in the Northern Netherlands.


The scoop of the first autonomous hydrogen drone attracted a lot of interest. This drone with a diameter of 3 meters will take fly this year and covers a distance of more than 100 kilometers. In the future, medical packages will also be delivered using drones at specially developed unmanned package points. Fully automatic and remote controlled. Visitors also saw the first regional bus that will drive autonomously. It will soon charge, wash and park fully autonomously on the Qbuzz site in Groningen. This project is part of the automatic public transport development agenda.

Autonomous transport in all modes

A demonstration took place in the water in which an underwater drone carried out inspections in the Hoendiep. NS and Arriva will soon be testing the automatic shunting of trains. On the way to a future in which trains can run more frequently, more punctually and more sustainably, without the construction of new rail infrastructure. Naturally, the team building the Hyperloop was present to introduce visitors to the open innovation center and test facility in Groningen.

Knowledge, inspiration and networking

In the central heart of the site, Hive.Mobility offered visitors the opportunity to meet experts, network and gain knowledge. For example, Victor Lamme spoke about the functioning of our brain, perception and trust. A useful presentation for anyone who comes into contact with autonomous transport, because it is an exciting moment for many passengers to sit in a self-driving vehicle. Christian Kromme gave a glimpse into the future of mobility and transport. Various inspiring experts discussed the themes ‘Knowledge and experience’, ‘Support base’ and ‘Policy and regulations’. Visitors were treated to critical questions for the panel members and answers that will enable the Northern Netherlands to move on to the next phase: autonomous transport in practice.

Photos and aftermovie

Check out the photos and aftermovie here.

Photos: Jan Buwalda

This was the second edition of the @north event. The event is organized once every three years by 12 organizations and companies that are committed to innovation in mobility.