Schiphol trials electric autonomous buses as part of sustainability drive

Schiphol trials electric autonomous shuttle buses as part of sustainability drive
By 2050 the airport envisages a fully autonomous, emission-free airside vehicle fleet (Image credit: Roger Cremers)

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is trialling the use of electric autonomous shuttle buses as a part of its ambition to have emission-free autonomous ground operations by 2050.

Two self-driving Ohmio buses are following a fixed route and making stops at various locations on Schiphol’s airside.

The stops are close to the facilities of several cleaning and ground handling companies.

The shuttle service currently being trialled is for employees working at those locations.

With the trial, Schiphol stated it wants to investigate the advantages of autonomous transport and understand what its employees think of it.

Jan Zekveld, head of innovation at Royal Schiphol Group, said: “This trial represents another step towards our ambition of having an emission-free and autonomous ground operation by 2050.

“The knowledge and insights gained during this test period are of significant added value to future autonomous developments at Schiphol.”

In the first phase of the trial, the technology behind the buses is being thoroughly tested and adapted to the airport infrastructure, according to Schiphol.

The airport surveyed employees who have taken part in the trial, finding that 89 per cent are willing to use the service again.

Schiphol said it will continue testing the technology and assessing the possibility of expansion until the end of April.

Mohammed Hikmet, executive chairman of Ohmio, said: “This collaboration underscores Ohmio’s commitment to advancing visionary approaches for the future of transport.

“We are enthusiastic about the opportunity and are honoured to join hands with Schiphol Airport, a leading player in Europe’s aviation industry.”

Ohmio’s autonomous buses each have the capacity to transport eight people at a time.

By 2050, Royal Schiphol Group envisions that all airside vehicles will have been replaced by a contiguous fleet of autonomous, zero-emission vehicles.

Ohmio develops autonomous vehicles connected to an intelligent transport system.

The buses are self-driving and can communicate with traffic signs and other autonomous vehicles.