Self-driving shuttle project off to a start at Brussels Airport
As part of the sustainable development of the airport, the strategic priority will, in the years ahead, lay on the development of ‘intelligent mobility'. Brussels Airport is therefore constantly looking for innovative and sustainable mobility solutions to further strengthen its position as multimodal hub with eco-friendly means of transport such as these automated electric shuttles.
The airport is setting itself the target that by the year 2040, 50% of the passengers and staff will come to the airport by public transport, bicycle or even on foot. This joint project with De Lijn, started in 2015, to test whether a self-driving shuttle could be used at Brussels Airport for passenger transport, is one of the specific projects for achieving this objective.
A project that, four years ago, seemed a figment of the imagination is now as good as reality at the airport. These electric self-driving people movers, produced by the Dutch manufacturer 2GetThere, are already in operation in Abu Dhabi. There they drive autonomously, in their own lane. In the Rivium business park in the Netherlands, the buses have been in operation for 15 years. Next year, they will also be driving around in mixed traffic, as will be the case at our airport.
To be able to drive autonomously, the self-driving shuttle will make use of magnets and sensors. The magnets allow it to recognise the road and the sensors help detect objects in the vicinity of the shuttle.
The Airport Business District must become a vibrant ecosystem of its own, where large companies mingle with start-ups. With room for biodiversity and greenery. With room for innovation and new activities.
As part of its Strategic Vision 2040, Brussels Airport Company has put together a Quality Board to provide guidance to the company in the conception and design of ambitious planning projects and of the airport’s public spaces.