French train engineering giant Alstom is to test automated freight trains in the Netherlands this year.
The automated train prototype can travel for about 100km (60 miles) without driver intervention.
Automation will free the train driver to focus on supervising the train's progress.
The test's purpose is to provide a live demonstration that the train and the signal system can communicate effectively to drive the train.
Alstom signed an agreement with the the Dutch infrastructure operator ProRail and Rotterdam Rail Feeding (RRF) to carry out the tests along the Betuweroute - a 150km double track freight railway line connecting Rotterdam to Germany.
Driverless train technology already exists - the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is fully automated - but rail journalist Tony Miles predicts that it will still take between 30-50 years for the technology to be realised in Europe, because getting an automatic signalling system to work over a long distance is difficult to achieve.
There is also the issue that while it might be easy to design an automated railway line from scratch, upgrading existing lines is more complicated, reports BBC.