Autonomous Driving 2019 – Netherlands soon 5 Years ahead in Europe?

Google had a good media presence with its autonomous driving personal car. But as it seems, the Netherlands are going to prepare for a bigger leap towards Autonomous Driving in Europe. A 5-year-timeline and schedule is to be prepared – beginning with large scale testing very soon and ending with a full use and presence of autonomous driving cars. First priority are trucks, transporting containers and goods from and to the international container port in Rotterdam as was announced by Dutch minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen on 16th of July 2014.

Important trend question: What positive potential would this this bring for German and European automotive industry?

Read the announcement of the Dutch government from 16.06.2014:
http://www.government.nl/ministries/ienm/news/2014/06/17/schultz-advocates-large-scale-testing-of-self-driving-cars-on-dutch-roads.html

Minister Schultz van Haegen wants to push changes in existing regulations and will present a proposal to this to the Dutch House of Representatives early in 2015. Past summer 2014 she will announce the conditions under which the testing can take place together with the test locations:

“To make it possible to perform large-scale testing of self-driving on Dutch roads. In this way, our country can play a leading role internationally regarding this driving innovation.”

International press already reported on this news – except the German press and media. Maybe Germany needs more time? 

Read some of the first related stories in international media:

Reuters: “Dutch plan for self-driving trucks within five years”
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/16/netherlands-tech-autos-idUSL5N0OX3S420140616

AUTO WORLD NEWS: “Dutch Unveil Five-Year Plan for Self-Driving Trucks”, 16.06.2014:
http://www.autoworldnews.com/articles/7851/20140616/dutch-have-five-year-plan-for-self-driving-trucks.htm

abc NEWS/via AP: “Dutch Government Encourages Self-Driving Car Tests”, 16.06.2014:
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/dutch-government-encourages-driving-car-tests-24157765

Newsbereich, IEEE/Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 17.06.2014:
“Dutch Trucks Will Drive Themselves”:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/self-driving/dutch-trucks-will-drive-themselves

But what’s up with Germany and its famous automotive industry? At least it might be time for the German government to act more directly and less reluctant as it seems. To support its industry as well as further changes in regulations and infrastructure. And how are German car makers dealing with these topics of Autonomous Driving in Europe, be it in European cooperations or implementing innovations as fast as the Dutch?

What do you think about this?

 

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