“De Lijn will dispose of self-driving buses in Flanders”

De Lijn’s other autonomous bus project, at Brussels Airport, is continuing. — © ddl

The self-driving bus without a driver is unlikely to emerge quickly in Flanders. From 2023, De Lijn wanted to transport travelers with an autonomous shuttle on a number of fixed routes in Antwerp, Leuven, Mechelen and Genk. But the transport company is about to cancel the ambitious project because it is too complex and too expensive. De Tijd heard that.

Two years ago, De Lijn selected five possible suppliers for the construction of the self-driving buses. The winning manufacturer, who would be appointed this autumn, had to start the first test drives on the road next year.

De Lijn would have received four offers from manufacturers, of which only one turned out to be valid. The transport company concluded from this that the project is not yet technologically feasible in Flemish cities.

De Lijn did not want to confirm on Wednesday that the autonomous bus project in the four cities will be stopped. “The negotiation procedure and associated discussions are still ongoing,” said spokeswoman Karen Van der Sype. She emphasizes that De Lijn’s other autonomous bus project at Brussels Airport is continuing. The first self-driving test drive – with a steward, but without travelers – took place there last year.

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