Mobility challenges are tackled with the help of new technologies and agile service pilots in Jätkäsaari in Helsinki. This autumn, a smart pedestrian crossing, smart carpools and new types of cargo bikes are being piloted in Jätkäsaari.
Jätkäsaari is a testbed for smart mobility solutions in Helsinki. There, new transportation technologies are developed together with the City, companies, residents and research institutes. The area has become a hub for development and innovation operations that shape the future of mobility.
The Last Mile project is looking for fresh mobility solutions for the needs of residents and tourists in the Metropolitan area with the help of agile pilots. In Helsinki, mobility service pilots are located in Jätkäsaari, which currently serves as the stage for several pilots that aim to meet the needs and proposals specified by the residents themselves.
There are four ongoing Last Mile pilots in Jätkäsaari at the moment.
- A smart pedestrian crossing pilot is testing a traffic sign that utilises new technology on Selkämerenkatu. The smart pedestrian crossing sign resembles a conventional traffic sign, but contains technology that produces data on the amount of traffic, traffic speed and air quality as well as environmental conditions to support planning. The smart pedestrian crossing facilitates the testing of warning functions designed to prevent collisions in a controlled manner. The pilot is being conducted by Bercman Technologies.
- A pilot by Pallo-Pojat Juniorit ry is experimenting with developing shared transportation models for children and young people who play football. Instead of transporting the players to practice and games in private cars, the pilot involves organising shared transport directly from the school to the hobby facilities. Families will have more time to spend together in the evenings and children will have something meaningful to do when they are able to start their hobby directly after school in the afternoon. The pilot is creating a scalable operating model for the management and organisation of transport for large numbers of children.
- A pilot by Colossus Finland is experimenting with a cargo bike sharing scheme, which will facilitate the easy and ecological transportation of shopping, items and children. The bikes are located around Jätkäsaari, and they are locked, unlocked and taken into use with the help of a smartphone application. The first hour of riding the cargo bike is always free. Participating in the experiment requires registration with the Nezeco service.
- A pilot by Eezery Enterpriseaims to reduce vehicle traffic in Jätkäsaari through ecological local logistics. In the pilot, small parcels are delivered using an electric cargo bike. The service is available to both companies and private individuals. Residents may, for example, order affordable transportation for their second hand purchase from across town.
The pilots in Jätkäsaari are described on the jätkäkokeilee.fi website (in Finnish), where you will also find information on how to participate.
Co-creating services that meet residents’ needs
Residents and companies have played a significant role in smart mobility pilots. The City of Helsinki’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki has been in charge of the pilot programme and supporting co-creation with various operators.
Mobility challenges and development areas were identified together with local residents, designers and companies around the New Year. In the spring, an open call for tenders aimed at companies was organised to find solutions to these issues. Practical solutions to the mobility challenges of Jätkäsaari residents or solutions that reduce congestion, emissions or other adverse affects of traffic were sought for the pilots. The agile pilots selected for implementation started in the summer and autumn, with a duration of three to six months.
“Piloting and co-creation have become means of improving cities in the last few years. Ever-increasing amounts of traffic in growing cities is one of the challenges that could be solved with a combination of new agile operating methods and traditional planning, infrastructure constructions and regulation,” says Project Manager Heli Ponto from the Last mile project by Forum Virium Helsinki.
The ongoing pilots are the final experiments conducted by the Last Mile project in Jätkäsaari. This will not, however, be the end of pilots concerning smart traffic. The recently started Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab acts as an umbrella project for the development of smart mobility in Jätkäsaari. Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab serves as a so-called living lab, where new solutions are piloted in genuine urban environments by real end users. Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab offers and builds the prerequisites for new smart mobility pilots.
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