In the middle of the night on an abandoned bus lane somewhere in Eindhoven three cars pass by, in the front BMW i3 someone is behind the wheel, the other two vehicles are unmanned. At an appropriate distance and fully automatically they follow the front driver.

Amber, a car-sharing platform, tested for the first time on the public road with their shared cars, at night on a blocked bus lane. To this end, the company worked together with the municipality of Eindhoven and SmartwayZ. Amber called this a successful test and the aim is to introduce platooning as of next year in order to be able to transport cars from hub to hub at night.

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Platooning is a form of autonomous driving where the front car is driven by a person, the rest automatically follows the first car, without a driver. A lot of research is being done into this, especially in logistics. In order to be able to drive the cars as a ‘fleet’ Amber has adapted the electric BMW i3’s and equipped them with all kinds of sensors so that the following cars drive at the right speed and keep a good distance from their predecessor. For this, the company called in the help of the Eindhoven Vention.

Amber now tested with three cars, but in principle, you can make the fleet as long as you want. The Eindhoven company will test this further in the near future. According to the company, this form, where a driver drives on the bus lane, is relatively easy to apply, but it becomes more difficult when you are going to do this in busy cities.

At the moment, each shared car is still driven by a driver, and once the test has been completed, the same driver can transport several cars to a shared location at the same time. In June during ITS, a European congress on Smart Mobility at the Automotive Campus in Helmond, Amber wants to show something new to the general public. The company does not yet want to reveal how exactly this will look like.

Foto: Amber (C)

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About the author

Author profile picture Milan Lenters is a writer and editor. Through IO, he got to know his native city Eindhoven in a different way and sometimes looks with amazement at the many stories that lie ahead.