A self-driving shuttle bus has started making trips at Brussels Airport. In a statement earlier this week, the airport said that the vehicle, which is operated by transport firm De Lijn, would undertake several demonstration trips, without passengers, to test the technology.
It is hoped that, eventually, the vehicles, which use sensors to detect surrounding objects, will be able to navigate through traffic autonomously. The airport said it expects passengers to be able to use the vehicles by the middle of 2021.
The CEO of the Brussels Airport Company, Arnaud Feist, said intelligent mobility was "one of our strategic priorities for sustainable development over the coming years."
Feist added that the airport wanted to encourage passengers and employees to travel there by public transport.
"This joint project with De Lijn, which commenced in 2015, is one of the initiatives specifically aimed at achieving this objective," he explained. "We're now exploring how self-driving buses can be deployed to improve the efficiency of passenger transport on the airport grounds."
Slowly but surely, autonomous vehicles are starting to be used in real world situations. In January 2019, Japanese airline All Nippon Airways announced it had commenced the second phase of testing for an autonomous and driverless bus at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
In April, Starship Technologies – which specializes in autonomous delivery services – announced it had made 50,000 commercial deliveries with its technology.
The firm's robots can make deliveries within a four-mile radius, and carry goods including parcels, groceries and food.