HELSINKI-TALLINN TWIN CITY CONCEPT STRENGTHENS WITH SMART MOBILITY SOLUTIONS
Helsinki, Finland – The Helsinki-Tallinn connection is a busy sea lane: ferries transport over 8 million passengers, close to 1.3 million cars, and 300,000 trucks between the cities – the capitals of Finland and Estonia – in a year. The numbers are on a steady rise.
To better serve the expanding traffic, five new smart mobility solutions are being tested in pilot projects at downtown passenger terminals of the ports of Helsinki and Tallinn. The solutions are expected to smooth out traffic flows and to make the transit more dynamic and pleasant for travelers.
The pilot projects and expected solutions support Helsinki’s Smart City development goals: Helsinki evolves toward a Smart City with new user-oriented digital services that ease the everyday lives of citizens and create new business.
The Following pilots are:
One of the pilot projects involves a system that controls the movement of trucks to reduce congestion both at the port and in the vicinity by giving drivers exact routes and times to enter the port area. The experiment is conducted by the Estonian queue management service provider GoSwift http://www.goswift.eu
. The current system differs from similar systems in that it serves downtown passenger ports with heavy volumes.
The FinEst Sherpa pilot project develops travel service packages by combining different and diverse services. One such package could involve complimentary services or products included in the ticket price, for example, a free beverage. FinEst Sherpa also studies how to manage passenger flows with service packages. FinEst Sherpa is conducted by the Finnish design and engineering company FLOU.
Townhall24 tests smart containers for safe short-term storage at the Helsinki West Harbour terminal. Purchases made by travelers could be delivered directly to a smart container, easing the use of public transit in connection of ferry travel. Smart containers could be operated with a Helsinki or Tallinn public-transit travel card. The containers could serve various sharing economy concepts, for example, by allowing easy lending and borrowing of tools and by facilitating shared rides with passengers with cars. Townhall24 is conducted by the Finnish software development company Community Constructor Oy.
The Estonian technology development company Jiffi http://jiffiapp.com
tests a hands-free ticketing system for ferry passengers. A Jiffi mobile app automatically charges a streetcar passenger for the ride once the passenger boards and the streetcar moves on. This ensures that the passenger has an appropriate ticket. The system speeds up movement in the terminal as travelers do not have to purchase streetcar tickets on arrival at the terminal. The Helsinki West Harbour terminal is served by three streetcar lines.
analyzes the movements of mobile cellular subscribers in the city with the help of anonymous location data provided by operators. The data makes it possible to discover trends in ferry passenger movements, which could be used in area development to better serve both travelers and residents.
FinEst smart mobility project
The Helsinki-Tallinn smart mobility experiments constitute a Smart City living lab – a real-life environment in which users and developers cooperate in the development of new digital services.
The experiments are part of a FinEst Smart Mobility project begun in 2016. This is a three-year Finnish-Estonian project included in the European Union’s Interreg Central Baltic program, which is aimed at stimulating cooperation between regions. FinEst Smart Mobility is supported with EUR 1.8 million by the European Regional Development Fund.
The number of travelers on the Helsinki-Tallinn sea lane (8 million in a year, one-fifth of them for work and the rest for leisure) far exceeds the combined population of Finland and Estonia (6.8 million) and is 4.5-fold the combined population of the Helsinki and Tallinn metropolitan areas (1.8 million). The distance between the cities across the Gulf of Finland is 50 miles.
Helsinki develops Smart City solutions with other ongoing living labs. One of them is underway in the new Kalasatama district currently under construction. Smart Kalasatama is a project to develop digital services that free one hour per day from everyday chores for residents. http://fiksukalasatama.fi/en/
One of the key approaches for Helsinki to evolve toward a Smart City is by publishing public sector data as open data to be freely used by anyone to develop new apps for digital services. Helsinki is one of the European leaders in open data.