Local businesses, governments, and knowledge institutions around Brainport Eindhoven (the Netherlands) want to develop an autonomously operating bus transport system that can become an example for the world. The bus system, called ‘Brainport Line’, will connect all Brainport campuses around Eindhoven with each other and with regional work and transport crossroads.

The Province of Noord-Brabant, the Municipality of Eindhoven, and Brainport Development are the initiators of the plan, which is supported by the business community and knowledge institutes from Brainport Eindhoven. The project has been submitted to the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to be eligible for a contribution of over 1 billion euros from the National Growth Fund.

Brainport Line

The Brainport Line is an emission-free public transport system in which ‘pods’ of various sizes drive over free lanes, along interchanges at crossroads, and around existing public transport nodes. It will be using sensor technology, autonomous driving, and other proven technology, such as platooning. The Brainport line is to be introduced step by step in the period up to 2030. “The system connects innovation and testing possibilities in the beating heart of the knowledge-intensive manufacturing industry in the Netherlands”, said the initiators in an explanation.

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    The system also wants to be an economic showcase. “It is a flexible system because it is not tied to a route with rails. It is therefore easy to scale up and thus deployable in smaller cities but also larger metropolises, all over the world. This offers great economic opportunities for the business community in Brainport Eindhoven, which is developing the Brainport Line, and contributes to the international image of the Netherlands as a forerunner of innovative smart & green mobility applications”.

    “According to our social cost-benefit analysis, the Brainport Line will yield around 150 million euros after deducting costs.”

    Christophe van der Maat


    Commissioner Christophe van der Maat of the Province of Noord-Brabant thinks the Growth Fund offers opportunities to the country: “It is very important that we continue to look ahead in the Netherlands. There is a lot of creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovative capacity in our country, which is being activated with the Growth Fund. We have already done our homework and made this bid, which we believe fits in seamlessly with the goals of the fund. With the Brainport Line, we not only improve accessibility to and between economic top locations in the economic engine of the South, but the system also acts as a booster for the mobility transition in Brabant – and also generates money. According to our social cost-benefit analysis, it will yield around 150 million euros after costs have been deducted.”

    Autonomous Brainport Bus (example)

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.