Autonomous cars, trucks that communicate with one another via WiFi and drive in platoons and traffic lights that communicate with approaching traffic. These are only a few concrete examples of technological developments that make traffic smoother, safer and more sustainable and that are succeeding one another with ever-increasing rapidity. On Monday, a new testing area was presented that will enable these innovations by facilitating the practical application of the various services and techniques: ‘MobilitymoveZ.NL, Urban Mobility Testing Area’. This is an initiative jointly set up by the province of North Brabant, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management and the municipalities of Eindhoven, Helmond and Tilburg.
The testing area for MobilitymoveZ.NL comprises a network of motorways and provincial and local roads running from Helmond via Eindhoven to Tilburg. It may, in time, be expanded towards Breda and ’s-Hertogenbosch. MobilitymoveZ.NL is making a controlled, manageable network of public roads in North Brabant available to national and international parties for the development and testing of new techniques and services in the field of Smart Mobility and innovative mobility services in practical traffic situations. The parties concerned include Information Technology Services companies, Smart Mobility service providers, telecoms companies, automotive parties, leasing companies and insurers. Member of the provincial executive of North Brabant, Christophe van der Maat: “In our capacity as provincial authorities, we are looking for new solutions that will help us improve the accessibility, quality of life and safety of our cities. It is essential that we test these new mobility concepts in practice before we actually introduce them on a large scale. This is why MobilitymoveZ.NL, Urban Mobility Testing Area has now been created. The fact that testing can be carried out here on a complete network of roads with different characters and different speed regimes makes this testing area unique.”
Sharing know-how and new standards
The objective of this public-private collaboration is to lift the mobility sector in the Netherlands, and Europe as a whole, to a higher level and to improve accessibility in and between cities and regions. Besides testing new products and services, the initiators of MobilitymoveZ.NL are committed to connecting participating companies to promote mutual cross pollination and the sharing of know-how in the field of Smart Mobility. Collaboration in the development, integration and implementation of new mobility concepts initially takes place on a small scale with various private and public parties. Participants in the testing area are, thus, investing together and working on a new standard for techniques.
This testing area enables the practical testing of new techniques in daily traffic and their development into new products or services that can subsequently be marketed on a large scale. The testing area MobilitymoveZ.NL is a part of SmartwayZ.NL, the innovative mobility programme in which governments, market parties and knowledge institutes collaborate on improving the access and economy in the south of the Netherlands. This makes it possible to actually apply a successfully tested mobility concept or new service in the SmartwayZ.NL programme and outside it too, of course.