3 min

Ensuring Safe and Reliable Autonomous Public Transport: Autonomous Busses in Rotterdam

In the rapidly evolving world of autonomous vehicles, testing, inspection, and certification are critical to ensure safety and reliability. As autonomous driving technology advances, public trust and acceptance become essential for the smooth rollout of these vehicles. At Kiwa, we offer a comprehensive range of services tailored to Autonomous Driving (AD) testing. In this article, we will delve into the importance of certification, the AD testing process, emerging industry trends, and highlight the exemplary work of ZF transport systems.

The AD industry is witnessing exciting trends that are reshaping the future of public transport. One prominent trend is the deployment of autonomous transport systems. Like the ones developed by ZF, a global technology company supplying systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology. Sander Peeters, CEO of 2ggetthere (a company of ZF mobility solutions) explains “These systems offer a concept to alleviate urban congestion, reduce emissions, and enhance connectivity in both urban and rural areas. Rotterdam has been a pioneering city in embracing autonomous transport systems, and we are proud to have our autonomous shuttles running from Rotterdam to Capelle aan den IJessel, located on the eastern edge of Rotterdam. The success of our vehicles in Rotterdam, where they have transported thousands of passengers daily, showcases the real-world viability and effectiveness of our technology.”

ZF's autonomous transport system consists of electrically powered, driverless shuttles that operate on fixed routes and seamlessly integrate with other public transport modes. These fully electric shuttles provide a true alternative to private car ownership, relieving congested city streets and reducing emissions. By embracing such trends, cities can offer alternative transportation options. But of course, these new solutions need to be safe.

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Importance of Certification for Autonomous Vehicles

Dennis van der Vlugt, Business Unit Manager at Kiwa explains “Certification is crucial for autonomous transport systems, because it ensures safety, compliance, and trust. At Kiwa, we provide comprehensive certification services to drive the development of reliable and sustainable mobility solutions. Our certification instills confidence and sets industry standards, paving the way for the future of autonomous transportation.”

By obtaining a certificate, public transport operators can demonstrate their commitment to passenger safety and gain the trust of regulatory authorities and the public. Kiwa's testing and inspection services evaluate various aspects of AD systems, including performance, functional safety, cybersecurity, and environmental compatibility.

Sander Peeters adds "Certification is a fundamental step in realizing the advantages of autonomous vehicles. It serves as a crucial catalyst for the widespread adoption of autonomous technology, unlocking the immense potential for revolutionizing transportation. In Kiwa, we have found the partner to help us achieve this."

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Testing and Inspection Services by Kiwa

Kiwa offers a wide range of AD testing and inspection services to assess the performance, safety, and reliability of autonomous vehicles. These services are crucial for gaining regulatory approvals and ensuring public confidence.

  • Performance testing: the capabilities of autonomous systems are evaluated in various scenarios, simulating real-world conditions to assess their performance, responsiveness, and ability to handle complex driving situations.
  • EMC testing: EMC stands for Electromagnetic Compatibility. The definition of EMC is how electrical equipment behaves in its electromagnetical environment. The AD systems are tested according to the EMC Directive.
  • Functional safety evaluation: the functional safety of AD systems is assessed according to established industry standards such as ISO 26262. This evaluation ensures that autonomous vehicles meet the required safety levels, minimizing the risk of accidents and failures.
  • Cybersecurity assessment: Kiwa conducts cybersecurity assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities in the communication and data exchange systems of autonomous vehicles. This evaluation helps ensure data protection and safeguards against cyber threats.
  • Environmental compatibility testing: the environmental impact of autonomous vehicles is being evaluated, including their emissions and energy efficiency. This assessment helps manufacturers and operators optimize their systems to reduce the environmental footprint of autonomous transport.

Dennis van der Vlugt concludes: “By providing comprehensive testing and inspection services, Kiwa enables autonomous vehicle manufacturers and operators to meet the necessary safety standards and gain regulatory approvals. This, in turn, instils trust among passengers, authorities, and the general public, fostering the wider acceptance and adoption of autonomous vehicles."