The world’s first driverless vehicle, the ParkShuttle at business park in the Netherlands will continue operations for at least two more years.
The Metropolitan region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH) has confirmed the extension of the concession of operator Connexxion until late 2018. The city of Capelle aan den IJssel says it intends to expand it once the concession runs out.
The ParkShuttle has been operational since 1999, making it the first driverless vehicle system in the world. The operator says that in the 17 years that have passed, it has grown into a big success with the system carrying over 2,000 passengers per day. “Although not showing their age, the currently operational vehicles are over 13 years old and have each driven over 200,000 kilometres,” says a statement. “As part of the extension of the concession remedial works will be conducted to correct the rutting of the road and restore the driving comfort.”
The operator says the extension is based on a high appreciation scores of the passengers in combination with the positive influence of the system on business park Rivium as a location for companies. A recent survey of passengers shows the ParkShuttle scores favorably in comparison to a bus service on reliability, operational hours, waiting times and passenger information.
“We are realizing more-and-more that the we have been ahead of our time with the ParkShuttle”, comments Alderman Dick van Sluis, responsible for Roads and Transport. “Where autonomous transit has only become a hot item in the last two years, we have experience dating back to 1999. That gives us a great advantage and ensures we are in the spotlight both within the Netherlands and internationally.”