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First driverless shuttle bus to be tested in Louvain-la-Neuve

The first autonomous shuttle will run next week in Louvain-la-Neuve. (© Stephanie Vandreck - RTBF)
09:35 03/03/2021

The first driverless shuttle bus will take to the roads of Louvain-la-Neuve next week. The autonomous shuttle will run from next Monday on its first designated route, known as the Lemaître Loop.

It will serve five stops in this first phase of its deployment, which is expected to last until the end of August. The small yellow vehicle, named Autonom-e, will eventually link the SNCB station in Leuven-La-Neuve with the Einstein Science Park.

The pilot project, involving experts from the public, private and academic sectors, began in May 2019 when the City of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve took advantage of Digital Wallonia's call for innovative projects. Digital Wallonia funds new sustainable mobility solutions, in this case, a standalone shuttle that will operate in a complex environment.

The pilot project will study the public's interest in this new mobility service and at the same time work on new technologies for future advances. "This is an innovative solution, which is intended to complement the existing and future public transport network," said Walloon mobility minister Philippe Henry.

Vincent Peremans, the executive director of Walloon transport company TEC, which will operate Autonom-e, said: "This is a great opportunity for TEC to remain attentive to technological innovations in order to anticipate and integrate them as best as possible. It is by getting to know them that we will be able to meet the mobility challenges that lie ahead."

Written by Nick Amies