The City of Helmond is a medium-sized city in the southeast of the Netherlands. It is part of the Brainport region Eindhoven which is one of the three most important economic areas in the country. Helmond is also home to the Automotive Campus, where several companies, knowledge institutes, universities and governmental organisations work together on innovative mobility solutions. With Automotive Campus, Helmond presents itself as knowledge and innovation center for mobility solutions, Helmond “City of Smart Mobility”.

Even if Helmond is a relatively small city, it receives internationally recognition – such as the international ITS Local Government Award in 2019 – for its ambitious goals and the realisation of innovative mobility solutions in the city. Therefore, it is not a surprise that together with their regional partners City of Helmond hosted the ITS Europe 2019 Congress in the Brainport region Eindhoven.

The shuttles in Helmond offer a perfect public transport solution for the first and last mile on the connection between Brandevoort railway station and the Automotive Campus. The route was 3 km long with four bus stops. The route is characterised by the presence of a secondary school, two roundabouts, a cycle street, different types of roads (access roads and distributer road) and a number of demanding intersections. The most challenging being the interaction with a great number of  cyclists but also interaction with pedestrians and motorised vehicles is a demanding location. Future Mobility Network (FMN) was the local partner to Saga consortium for carrying out pilot operations in Helmond.

The Saga Consortium launched the Helmond pilot in January 2021. It had four partners: Mobility Forus, Halogen and Ramboll Management Consulting from Norway together with Spare Labs from Canada. The team was interdisciplinary and consisted of the project management by  Mobility Forus, operators from FMN/Hermes and design team from Halogen. Software integration and smart transport solutions were provided by Spare. Management consulting and traffic engineers came from Ramboll Management Consulting.

NAVYA robot bus with 11 seats to be tested

The consortium used autonomous vehicles from a subcontracted French manufacturer, NAVYA. The technical specifications are as follows:

  • Maximum operating speed: 25km/h
  • Engine: Electric
  • Energy: Average autonomy 9 hours
  • Operating temperatures: from -10 to +40c
  • Capacity: 15 (11 seats)
  • Hength: 4.75m
  • Width: 2.11m
  • Height: 2.65m
  • Empty weight: 2400kg
  • Accessible for disabled people: yes

For more information contact:

City of Helmond
Marcel Unterberg
FABULOS Project Manager

Mobility Forus
Linn Terese Marken
Managing Director
+47 902 15 738