The ongoing drive to introduce the driverless cars – vehicles that do no need the assistance of a driver to navigate traffic, could soon get heavy weight support.

That’s because the Dutch could soon allow self-driving trucks on their roads, tasked to deliver goods between cities without the ever so feeble human element. A group of logistics and technology companies officially proposed a new plan that would see such trucks starting to haul freight in between Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, and other cities in the country in just five years. That would also be consistent with earlier plans coming from automakers and technology companies like Google to put the first commercial available driverless cars on the roads around 2020.

“There are countless benefits. Self-driving cars need less space and therefore use asphalt more efficiently, they avert traffic jams and reduce accidents. They are also more environmentally friendly,” said Marianne Wuite, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

The Infrastructure and Environment Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen has already presented in a letter the plan to the Dutch parliament, seeking to review and update traffic laws in order to accommodate the large-scale testing of the self-driving tech feasible on public roads.

The consortium that came up with the plan consists of the industry group Transport and Logistics Netherlands, DAF Trucks, Rotterdam Port and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, or TNO.

Via Automotive News Europe


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