The Sohjoa Last Mile project promotes the development of automated public transport with the aim of improving the first and last mile passenger experience of urban transport in particular.
With contemporary production methods, the production of comprehensive and high-quality public transport services is labour-driven, with drivers accounting for approx. 60% of total costs. The aim of public transport automation is to move the driver from inside the vehicle to a remote control room and facilitate the simultaneous remote control of multiple vehicles. The resulting lower production costs will revolutionise the service experience and availability of public transport while also promoting the provision of a more temporally and geographically comprehensive service with the same number of personnel. Demand responsive services operating on flexible routes will also become more economically viable.
Sohjoa Last Mile continues from where the Sohjoa Baltic project left. The lessons learned in the previous project will be utilised and the level of difficulty of the pilots will be raised to the next level. The primary objective of the pilots will be to operate automated minibuses without a safety driver inside the vehicle. The pilots will also involve the testing of a demand responsive service concept and focus on improving the reliability of services.
Duration, partners and funding
The project’s main sponsor is the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme. The project has a total budget of EUR 893,203, of which Forum Virium’s share is EUR 83,250. The project will run from 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2021. The project is coordinated by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
- Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
- Forum Virium Helsinki
- Tallinn University of Technology
- Tallinn Transport Department
- Zemgale Planning Region, Latvia
- City of Gdansk
- Municipality of Kongsberg, Norway
The role of Forum Virium Helsinki
The role of Forum Virium Helsinki is to provide policy makers and relevant stakeholders with information on automated public transport. In addition Forum Virium Helsinki will support local workshops and the project communications with its expertise.
Benefits for Helsinki
The project will generate information for the traffic planners in the City of Helsinki and the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority, allowing them to prepare well in advance for future changes and possibilities. The project will illustrate the benefits that driverless technology can provide to the public transport services in Helsinki.
On the whole, the project promotes Helsinki’s smart transport strategy and environmental goals.