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Autonomous transport

Knowledge exchange tool for autonomous modalities

Prototypes of autonomous transport are tested using so-called digital twins. These are simulated copies of the real world. In the virtual laboratories testing can be done in a cheap and safe way. Partners have already applied this several times on the road and this is also possible for the other modalities.

Autonome Renault Twizy en  autonome shuttle Navya.

Open source

All kinds of scenarios can be tested. For example, when autonomous vehicles, vessels, drones and trains start to work together. By developing an open source digital twin, knowledge exchange between the modalities is stimulated. The Northern Netherlands is the only region in Europe where projects take place in all modalities. With the development of a tool, this knowledge can also be exchanged much more between the modalities. In addition, other regions from the Netherlands and abroad can also contribute their knowledge and experiences here through the open source method. The province of Groningen is currently working with robotTUNER to set up the tool.

About the five field labs for autonomous transport

Road, air, rail, water and pipe (‘hyperloop’): in the Northern Netherlands, all modalities will have their own field lab for autonomous transport. As a result, the region will become the first real hub for autonomous transport in Europe. Autonomous transport should, among other things, improve the accessibility and quality of life in both urban and rural areas and reduce emissions as well as fuel consumption.

The aim of the field labs is to work towards both certification and the broad use of autonomous transport in daily practice through testing and upscaling. In addition, training and research are also linked to the field labs in order to sustainably safeguard and pass on knowledge and to develop sufficient talent.

The field labs are practice-oriented test locations, where various parties (governments, companies and knowledge institutions) develop, exchange knowledge and test together. Field labs will in any case be established at the new Hive Mobility Center on the Zernike Campus in Groningen (road, air and general affairs), at Groningen Airport Eelde (air), the Eemshaven (water) and the rail route between Buitenpost and De Vork train yard (track). Later, the European Hyperloop Center near Meerstad (tube) will be added as a field lab. There is also exchange between the field labs and the modalities can also test and develop in each other’s field lab. For example, people have already driven on the airstrip of the airport and flew with drones at Zernike and in the Eemshaven.

The use of an NPG subsidy has helped to make these various field labs possible.