Arriva will conduct a test ride for a self-driving train between Groningen and Zuidhorn on Saturday.
Translation by Traci White
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that the test will be the first of its kind for passenger trains in the Netherlands. The test will be carried out with researchers and a conductor on board who can intervene if need be.
The semi-automatic train, which is produced by Swiss train manufacturer Stadler, has a cruise control mode which is designed to help the conductor drive the train more efficiently and accurately. Auto pilot is also a more energy efficient mode, and could prove to be a safer approach to train travel.
The test ride will be carried out in conjunction with ProRail, and the company is hoping to increase passenger capacity by eventually implementing more automated trains. According to Dagblad van het Noorden, automation does not mean that conductors will become obsolete, citing the increasingly common use of auto pilot on aircraft and the continued job security for pilots.
In December of last year, ProRail tested a self-driving freight train between Maasvlakte and the German border.
Photo source: Archive photo of a Stadler train (this is not the train which will be running on Saturday)