Dutch test self-driving cars, predict they’ll be on sale by 2020

Amsterdam’s A10 ring road on Tuesday was the setting for a test of self-driving cars, developed by the TNO research institute and scientists from Delft University.

The aim of the Dutch Automated Vehicle Initiative (DAVI), which also involves the transport ministry, is to develop a user-friendly system which can be built into new and existing cars.

Transport minister Melanie Schultz, who was a passenger in one of the cars on Tuesday, said the system would be a boon for traffic management.

‘If cars can communicate with each other and accelerate or brake at the same time, you can eliminate sudden slow-downs and streamline traffic flows,’ the minister said.

Driverless cars would also make better use of the space on Dutch roads, the minister said.

Safety

Delft professor Bart van Arem told website nu.nl driverless cars will have an impact on safety, comfort and traffic jams.

‘The car has sensors, camera and radar instead of eyes,’ he said. ‘Instead of ears it has a communications system – a sort of wifi for cars. Computers act as the brain which interprets the signals and decides what should be done.’

Manufacturers expect the first cars with self-drive systems will come into production in 2020. ‘Given the interest from industry and the various development programmes underway, things can move very quickly,’ Van Arem said.

Check out this earlier test drive on a circuit


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