Automated last mile buses will enter the public roads in Finland already this summer to solve the challenges of urban mobility.
These cost effective, energy efficient, small electric buses can transport up to nine (9) persons. The buses will be on a trial use in the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Tampere in SOHJOA-project coordinated by Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
The Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi grants permissions for safe automatic transportation trials. Through these piloting cases the aim is to find best solutions for city traffic, safety and user experience for the future’s automated buses.
The Finnish transportation legislation has given a true international competitive advantage for all the developers of the automated transportation. In the SOHJOA Project this legislative advantage is implemented for the first time in practical use by the businesses developing technologies and services as well as cities involved in the Project.
The Project’s main goal is to provide possibilities for Finnish companies to develop new product and service ideas in the open innovation platform, aiming towards road traffic automation.
The aim is to set Finland to the development fast lane of automated road transport systems and to create new export businesses. The project provides an “Innovation Platform” where the businesses may provide their products to be developed and tested as partial solutions for the robot buses. Finland has already strong know-how in the fields of machine vision, intelligent route planning and traffic in winter conditions.
The project also aims to increase the awareness of the transformation road traffic within municipalities and among transportation service users and other stakeholder groups.
Cities of Finland and their offices, citizens and other communities’ understanding of the change in smart mobility. According to international technology companies’ predictions, the automation of traffic is happening rapidly over the following years.
The benefits, disadvantages, risks, preconditions as well as visions and dreams of the future possibilities must be developed in collaboration with urban communities.
The robot buses were tested among the first countries in the world in Finland during summer 2015 at Kivistö housing fair located in the city of Vantaa. Now similar EasyMile EZ10 buses that operated on the spot, will be tested further - in real life traffic conditions.
Two robot buses will arrive this July to the streets of Hernesaari in Helsinki.
Decision-makers of cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Tampere are mutually welcoming the piloting robot bus project on their streets. They all see the possibilities in developing new technologies and business around it. Also they see the benefits of developing service-oriented transportation planning effecting in a good way the residents’ everyday lives.
Deputy Mayor of Helsinki, Pekka Sauri will be celebrating the robot buses coming to Helsinki in an opening ceremony at Hernesaari on August 16th 2016.
After Helsinki, buses will operate in Espoo from August to September and in Tampere from October to November, where they will be in use until the first snow falls. In the spring 2017 the piloting will continue.
Project Manager Harri Santamala, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
firstname.surname metropolia fi, tel +358 40 334 1516
SOHJOA-6Aika is part of a Finnish cities’ collaborative 6Aika project family funded by European Structural Fund. Our partners are Aalto University, Forum Virium Helsinki, Finnish Geographical Institute and Tampere University of Technology. Alongside the 6Aika project, Metropolia is coordinating government funded Tekes Challenge Finland project aiming to build company consortiums to focus the development work. Automatic vehicles in Finnish conditions are tested as part of NordicWay project funded by Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi and Finnish Transport Agency. NordicWay is piloting new types of transport services and road traffic automation in Nordic cooperation.