Autonomous shuttle connects Groningen hospital to public transportation

An autonomous shuttle service is scheduled to pilot between the new Ommelander Ziekenhuis Groningen (OZG) location in Scheemda and the nearest bus stop in its vicinity.

Groningen is fully committed to autonomous transportation. The 5Groningen project, which inter alia researches the implementation of the 5G internet for autonomous vehicles, is to be extended after it was recently granted a provincial subsidy of 500.000 euros.

On 30 June the new Ommelander Ziekenhuis Groningen location in Scheemda is scheduled to open its doors. The hospital’s main entrance lies at a distance of about 1.5 kilometres from the nearest bus stop. Starting coming August, the autonomous Navya bus is scheduled to shuttle this stretch for a period of half a year. Possibly an extra bus stop shall be added at the far side of the hospital’s parking area.

If this pilot proves to be successful, the shuttle service shall be implemented permanently. During the next phase, the involved parties aim to extend the shuttle’s route to the city centre and in the long term also to the Scheemda railway station, located at a distance of about 4.5 kilometres. The tiny shuttle will be able to transport both patients and visitors as well as hospital employees.



A lot is happening in the field of autonomous transportation in Groningen. Recently, it was announced that the 5Groningen project shall be extended. Within this project, entrepreneurs and non-profit organisations are collaborating with experts, testing 5G-internet applications, inter alia for autonomous driving shuttles. Much research has been conducted at the so-called 5G-lab at the Zernike complex in the City of Groningen. Other test locations are to follow in the northern parts of the Province of Groningen.

In 2017 the first five pilots were started at the 5G Lab site. By now, a total of seventeen pilots are being conducted, while dozens of new ideas are continuously being submitted, according to the Province of Groningen. A provincial investment in 5Groningen amounting to 500,000 euros has therefore been announced.

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