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EXCLUSIVE: Intertraffic Amsterdam opens with key announcements

Intertraffic Amsterdam opened yesterday with a commitment from the Dutch government to enable smart mobility research across the country; a roadmap to autonomous vehicles from Nissan that promises fully self-driving vehicles by 2020; and an excited look forward to the week ahead – the biggest Intertraffic ever – from organizers at Amsterdam RAI.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, government representative Jan Hendrick Dronkers (below), director general of Rijkswaterstaat, promised that autonomous vehicles, smart mobility and connected systems are all high on this list of priorities for the Netherlands. He also looked forward to events planned for Intertraffic Amsterdam, and to a truck platoon test, which is due to arrive at the event this evening (Wednesday, April 6).

“This year’s Intertraffic exhibition coincides with the Dutch EU Presidency, which offers us great opportunities to stimulate further EU cooperation on transport innovation. The Netherlands aims to be an important proving ground for self-driving vehicles,” said Dronkers. “The field of Smart Mobility is high on the government’s list of priorities. With good reason: we are approaching limits of the amount of traffic on our roads, therefore we want to make our infrastructure smarter. We are turning the Netherlands into a living lab.”

After Dronkers’ opening speech had concluded, Maarten Sierhuis, director Nissan Research Center, took to the stage to deliver the keynote entitled Socially acceptable Al-based city driving. He began by laying out the Nissan roadmap for autonomy. Semi-autonomous features such as lane keeping are already available in some of their models, the next stage will be that by 2018 autonomous lane changing will come online, and finally 2020 will see Nissan introducing fully autonomous city driving. However, what Sierhuis was keen to stress was that such systems must be socially acceptable – meaning that vehicles must interact with pedestrians and other road users in the same way that human drivers do.

“Nissan have created a partnership with NASA on delivering autonomous vehicle technology. We use their facility as a closed testing environment,” said Sierhuis. “Driving is a social interaction. We need the autonomous vehicle to interact socially. This is not a simple problem. We are studying how people communicate when they drive. We are creating this concept of communicating intent from the car to the pedestrian.”

Ids Boersma, MD of RAI exhibitions also welcomed attendees to the biggest Intertraffic ever which features almost 800 exhibitors from 47 countries and is expecting 27,000 visitors from 130 countries worldwide. The show continues until Friday (April 8). 

At the opening ceremony the category winners of the Intertraffic Innovation Awards were also announced, along with the overall winner

April 5, 2016

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