Last modified more than a year ago


Testing infrastructure

All public roads in the Netherlands are open for testing, after an exemption has been obtained from the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) and the relevant road operator(s) in July 2015.

E.g. Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) if the testing concerns highways, and other road operators if the testing concerns urban and/or city networks. Among others RDW has a closed proving ground.

Procedure description

For Field Operational Tests with an automated vehicle there are two tracks:

  • For tests with a human driver in the vehicle.
  • For tests with a remote driver.

For tests with a human driver in the vehicle:

The Dutch assessment framework has five steps. These steps indicate at what point the test application is in the process. The steps are as follows:

  • Intake step: it is focused on the preparatory treatment and pre-assessment of the test application. In the application form, it shall be supplied a testing plan which includes:
    • Test plan
    • Number and type of vehicles
    • Road section and dates desired to be used for testing
    • Tests duration

Apart from the testing plan, it shall be included some additional information:

  • Technology or concept which difference from a “normal” vehicle.
  • Safety and environmental measures
  • Data of test developed on secure track will prove a level of safety
  • Ensure safety and reliability of data communications
  • Results of a risk control analysis
  • Results of EMC test that confirms not vulnerability to unwanted outside signals and no emission of harmful radiation.
  • Desk research: it is extended the intake step information and consulted by the road authorities. These authorities verify:
    • Vehicle performance equivalent to a vehicle without the automated systems
    • Types of roads considered for testing
    • Analysis of risks associated when a driver operates the automated system.
  • Ground testing: it involves physical inspection of the vehicle and a demonstration that the system operates correctly during normal testing, during this time authorities shall conduct different checks. Another demonstration shall be performed under the most important risk extracted from the risk analysis.
  • Admittance: if all the documentation and inspections fulfils the requirements, it may be issued a temporary admittance to operate on public roads. RDW can limit the conditions where AV can operate.

The application processing time is approximately three months. The application processing time depends on the type of vehicle, completeness and quality of the documents submitted by the applicant, experience from earlier tests, the cooperation of the relevant applicant and the primary and secondary parties, as well as the observance of the handling time. The costs of the application are based on the fixed rates 2 of the relevant type of exemption and the variable costs. These variable costs depend on, inter alia, the required man hours, any use of RDW services (such as the test centre) and the degree of preparation by the applicant and the distance to be travelled by RDW to assess the vehicle.

Organisation(s) in charge

The Netherlands Vehicle Authority, RDW

Contact information


Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management

Link to procedure website

The application form can be filled in the following page:

Link to documents

  • Vehicle Safety and Security Framework (VSSF), RDW:The VSSF is developed to accommodate the increase in software in vehicles.The VSSF is a framework that determines the robustness of the IT systems in vehicles
  • Vehicle Driving License Framework (VDLF), RDW:The VDLF is developed to accommodate the increase of automated driving tasks in vehicles.The VDLF is a framework that determines the level of safe and predictable automated driving behavior.

Further comments

Smart Mobility Embassy is a general national starting point for ITS testing

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