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11 March 2022

Unmanned Valley and Arriva to explore opportunities for innovative mobility

Unmanned Valley and Arriva will explore opportunities of sensor-based innovations that contribute to better mobility. The field lab for sensor-based technologies and the leading provider of passenger transport in Netherlands will also look at the opportunities of gaining knowledge and experience with autonomous transport as a ‘first & last mile’ solution and the use of hydrogen. It is expected that the collaboration will lead to added value for the Unmanned Valley ecosystem, Arriva and the region.

Unmanned Valley is home to several companies engaged in the development of sensor-related technologies and applications. The field lab on the former Valkenburg naval air base in the Netherlands has extensive facilities – including various IoT networks – for testing drones and other unmanned and autonomous systems and is part of a large network of living labs and field labs in the Dutch province of Zuid-Holland, also known as the greater Rotterdam – The Hague area.

Annemarie Hoogeveen, Regional Director West at Arriva Nederland: “We see Unmanned Valley as a place where a lot of technological innovation in the field of mobility is given space. It offers us a unique opportunity to put the innovations developed here into practice in public transport. By doing so, we improve the safety, sustainability and relevance of public transport.”

“Whether it is, for example, the use of data communication, artificial intelligence or sensor technology, an incredible amount is happening in the Netherlands and the Unmanned Valley ecosystem. We therefore expect a lot from this collaboration,” says Theo de Vries, program manager at Unmanned Valley. “In essence, there is a big technology overlap between unmanned and autonomous flying – as is happening a lot at Unmanned Valley right now – and sensor-based mobility. We also share the belief in the potential of hydrogen as a powerful, clean propulsion technology. And although developments in that area are moving fast, there is still a range of facilities to be developed at Unmanned Valley; for example, in the field of hydrogen refueling and distribution.”

Unmanned Valley and 2022
Unmanned Valley is an initiative of Delft University of Technology and the municipality of Katwijk and is made possible by the Dutch central and regional government as well as the EU’s Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In time, Unmanned Valley should grow into a seedbed for high-tech activity.

Last year, Unmanned Valley announced that it would explore the opportunities of conducting drone and other sensor-related research in the Berkheide dune area, together with regional nature conservationist and drinking water supply company Dunea and State Forestry. Also a subsidy scheme has been launched to help startups and scale-ups accelerate the development of high-tech innovations. Through a collaboration with KPN IoT and Do IoT Fieldlab (and their partners) a unique environment has been created for testing and demonstrating IoT innovations; companies can use the commercially available KPN networks (from LoRa to 5G) as well as an an experimental, state-of-the-art 5G communication infrastructure.

For 2022 the priorities will be the further development of the housing and test facilities as well as strengthening the link between the business community, educational and knowledge institutions and governments.