Terhills shuttle fleet expands to become autonomous bus line with the largest transport capacity in Europe: 5 driverless shuttles transport over 200 passengers per hour

30 May 2024 - Toulouse, France
Written by LRM
Terhills fleet of 5 driverless busses
Dilsen-Stokkem/Maasmechelen - Tourist hotspot Terhills is the first and only site in Belgium to have a fully autonomous transport system. After a successful one-year pilot phase, its existing fleet of driverless shuttles is now being expanded to 5 fully autonomous vehicles, without any human attendant on board, under remote supervision.

This is a major milestone, as in Europe there are already some fleet projects with driverless shuttles, but each time with a safety attendant on board. A key differentiator at Terhills is the fleet being supervized remotely. In further contrast to existing, other operations, it is also a real service, not a test or innovation project. Unlike the pilot phase (which was conducted with the cooperation of Flanders Make and De Lijn), the operation of the shuttles is not subsidized, but funded by LRM, Terhills and the partners on the site: Terhills Hotel, Terhills Cablepark, Terhills Resort by Centerparcs and Elaisa Wellness. This keeps the use of the shuttles free for visitors. 

The longevity and commercial nature of the service is the first of its kind in the autonomous shuttle industry. 

At peak times, the shuttles will carry more than 200 passengers per hour. This transport initiative started in 2022 as a pilot project with support from the ERDF and the Flemish Departments of Mobility & Public Works, and Economy. The effective operation of the shuttles is financed by LRM, Terhills and the partners at the tourism experience site: Terhills Hotel, Terhills Cablepark, Terhills Resort by Centerparcs and Elaisa Wellness.

Every year, approximately 1 million visitors and overnight guests descend upon the Terhills tourist experience site in Dilsen-Stokkem and Maasmechelen. The site covers 356 hectares and has many attractions, including Terhills Resort, Terhills Hotel, Terhills Cable Park, Bistro Bureau Bouveau, Elaisa Wellness and the main gateway to the National Park. To efficiently and experientially move all tourists and guests between the attraction points on this expansive site, LRM - the Limburg investment company behind the Terhills project - decided to go with self-driving shuttles.