In 2018, ProRail is going to run trails with self-driving trains.
It is hoped that these auto-piloted trains will prove to be the solution for those busy routes, such as between Eindhoven and Amsterdam. According to ProRail and the NS, there are 12 trains per hour between these two cities.
The trails are going to be done on various routes. ProRail will test automated good trains on the Betuwe route and passenger trains will be tested in Groningen.
ProRail anticipates these self-driving trains to be able to travel closer together, increasing the capacity on the tracks. It is hoped that they will also be more energy-efficient as they would need to make fewer stops and could travel at a more regular tempo.
The NS agrees with this. They, however, think it will still be years before these trains will travel with actual passengers aboard. An auto-piloted train is, according to the NS, a good solution for the Eindhoven / Amsterdam route as more passengers would be able to be safely transported.