Automated last mile buses enter the roads in Finland during the summer 2016 to solve the challenges of urban mobility. Forum Virium Helsinki is one of the partners in the project.
These cost effective, energy efficient, small electric buses can transport up to nine persons. The buses will be on a trial use in the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Tampere, in the SOHJOA project coordinated by the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
Business from Robobuses?
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.
The main goal of SOHJOA project 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 automatization of traffic is happening rapidly over the following years. The benefits, disadvantages, risks, preconditions as well as visions anddreams 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. Nowsimilar EasyMile EZ10 buses that operated on the spot, will be tested further – in real life traffic conditions. In July 2016, two robot buses roamed the streets of Hernesaari in Helsinki.
Decision-makers of cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Tampere are mutually welcoming the piloting robotbus 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.
After Helsinki, buses operated 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.
SOHJOA aims to set Finland in the fast lane of the development of automated road transport systems. Enabling the transition towards road traffic automation is accompanied with the development of new export businesses. SOHJOA project is part of the Six City Strategy (6Aika) which enables the cities to develop more open and smart services in a larger context than just one city. The project partners partners are Aalto University, Forum Virium Helsinki, Finnish Geographical Institute and Tampere University of Technology.
SOHJOA aims to set Finland in the fast lane of the development of automated road transport systems. Enabling the transition towards road traffic automation is accompanied with the development of new export businesses.
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