Modi, a leap towards vehicle autonomy

Imagine a transport corridor stretching from Rotterdam to Oslo where freight vehicles are guided not by human hands but by a state-of-the-art autonomous system. The EU-funded project MODI, a name inspired by the Norwegian term for ‘courageous’, aims to bring this bold vision to life, identifying and removing barriers along the way.

The Rotterdam-Oslo logistics corridor will serve as a testbed for automated vehicles as the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are likely to be the first movers of fully automated vehicles in Europe.

Accelerating shift to automated transport

Domestically, MODI synergises with Rijkswaterstaat’s (RWS) Smart Mobility programme, sharing a mutual ambition to expedite the shift towards automated transport.

This endeavour is fuelled the broader, global drive to revolutionise mobility, all the while ensuring that the Netherlands remains safe, liveable and accessible.

Internationally, MODI strengthens RWS’s strategic pillars: developing partnerships for cross-border freight solutions, advocating regulatory advancements to catalyse transport automation, and developing knowledge in this field.

As a pioneer in the mobility transition, the MODI project aims to showcase real-world cases of automated freight vehicles, thereby breaking down the barriers to mass acceptance and adoption.

The aim is to take automated driving to the next level by demonstrating its benefits in practical settings.

5 business challenges in automating the Rotterdam-Oslo transport corridor

Modi comprises 5 use cases, each representing a part of the logistics chain and in confined area operations. 1 key use case concerns the Rotterdam – Hamburg – Gothenburg – Oslo motorway corridor. Here, Modi focuses on demystifying and dismantling the regulatory and infrastructural challenges standing in transport’s path.

The other use cases explore the challenges in confined area operations faced by the port terminals of Rotterdam, Hamburg, Gothenburg and Moss (near Oslo).

Think, for example, of access control, charging, coordination with existing automated guided vehicles, loading and unloading, and handovers from public to confined areas.

Recommendations from Modi's heavy-duty vehicle demonstrations

Emphasising automated, heavy-duty vehicle solutions for logistics, Modi's pioneering what promises to be an early adopter domain for such ground-breaking technologies.

Automated systems are already transforming operations at numerous logistics hubs, mines, and port terminals.

Aiming for technological readiness level 7, Modi intends to deliver heavy-duty vehicles fit for demonstration across the 5 selected use cases. Their performance will be evaluated as they are tested in confined areas and on public roads.

The harvested data will result in a detailed impact assessment report, recommendations, best practices, business models and a book of recommendations for harmonising, standardising and adapting infrastructure for automated vehicles.

Project period

10-2022 - 3-2026

European Programme


Project website



ITS Norway, Volvo, DAF, Einride, DFDS, Q-Free, Technolution, Maersk, Enide, Gruber Logistics, In-Move, Alice, Clepa, RORO terminal Gothenburg, APM Terminals, New Mobility Solutions Hamburg, City of Hamburg, Statens Vegvesen, Viken County Council, Kartverket, Sintef, AstaZero, TNO, TOI, Eindhoven University of Technology, Lindholmen Science Park, HZ University of Applied Sciences, Bast, ASKO, MOSS Havn, Hamburg Port Authority, Vejdirektoratet