Practical testing safe and operable

In the Netherlands, until quite recently it was very tricky to conduct practical testing both on public roads and in ‘real-time traffic’. Under relevant (European) legislation and regulations new technologies and functionalities are only allowed on public roads if they have proven to be safe and operable. However, proving that technologies and functionalities are safe and operable usually requires practical testing out on the public road.

The Netherlands as test bed

The Netherlands is among European leaders making it legally feasible to open up public roads as a test location. New, relevant legislation came into force on 1 July 2015. The Dutch infrastructure offers an ample choice of possibilities and benefits as a test location. For example, the Dutch road system is used intensively and road surface markings and signage are both high quality. This adds up to a beneficial start for a whole range of field trials. Under set conditions practical testing can be carried out right across the Netherlands. Technologies and functionalities can be tested on highways and in urban areas thanks to the pragmatic ITS admittance procedure.

Intelligent technology

Under set conditions practical testing with Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is permitted on Dutch public roads. Technologies tested include:
  • automatic following;
  • connected adaptive cruise control;
  • lane-keeping assist;
  • vehicle following;
  • lane change;
  • traffic jam assist;
  • overtaking;
  • valet parking;
  • collision avoidance;
  • emergency stop;
  • self-driving vehicles.
Access to public roads is via the ITS admittance procedure. 

ITS testing in the Netherlands?

RDW - the Netherlands Vehicle Authority - proactively seeks cooperation with partners who want to develop and practically test these intelligent technologies. If you have specific questions around road testing Intelligent Transport Systems in the Netherlands, our experts will be happy to discuss matters. Please contact them by using our webform for ITS questions.