July 15, 2016

Robot buses hit the road in Finland

The small electric robot buses can transport up to nine persons in one go.
The small electric robot buses can transport up to nine persons in one go.
Alain Herzog/EPFL

The Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi has granted permission for safe automatic transportation trials in Finland.

Automated robot buses will enter public roads in Finland already this summer to solve the challenges of urban mobility. The buses will be trialed in the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Tampere, in the so-called SOHJOA Project coordinated by Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

These pilots seek to find the best solutions for city traffic, safety and user experience for the future automated buses. This is in keeping with the automation of traffic moving forward rapidly across Europe and the United States.

Finland’s favourable transportation legislation has given developers of automated transportation an international competitive advantage. This legislative advantage is being implemented for the first time in practical use by the businesses and the cities involved in the SOHJOA 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.

Last summer at the Kivistö housing fair in Vantaa, Finland was among the first countries in the world to test the robot buses. Now, similar EasyMile EZ10 buses will be tested further in real life traffic conditions.