October 18, 2019

Five for Friday: Road safety

Finnish innovations are on the road to success.
Finnish innovations are on the road to success.
Julia Bushueva

Innovative Finnish companies have come up with some fresh solutions to ensure better road conditions, a smoother driving experience and more advanced protection of vulnerable road users.

Road safety is a shared responsibility, and Finland takes it seriously. As winter approaches, temperatures drop and the hours of darkness increase, both motorists and pedestrians need to deepen their focus on traffic safety.

Here are five Finnish companies that are playing their part in improving road safety domestically and around the world. Let’s hit the road!

Roadscanners

Founded in 1998 and based in Rovaniemi, this award-winning expert in the field of traffic infrastructure asset management takes a proactive approach to road safety and focuses on early detection of any potentially hazardous road pavement issues.

The company’s advanced tools for road condition monitoring and analysis are used in dozens of countries around the world. Roadscanners believes that the earlier road surface problems are identified, the more effective and cost-efficient measures can be taken to address them.

“It’s a bit like brushing your teeth,” CEO Timo Saarenketo illustrated. “If you do it regularly, it’s a cheap way to prevent getting holes. But if you let the situation get bad, fixing it becomes much more expensive.”

Klippan

Child safety seats designed and produced by this small Vantaa-based company are sought after by caring parents from all over Europe and beyond. In fact, most of the production is exported.

Klippan passionately promotes rear-facing car seats as a significantly safer alternative to their forward-facing counterparts. Common in the Nordic countries, rear-facing seats may be less familiar to motorists in some other parts of Europe.

Aiming for unparalleled quality and functionality, Klippan regularly tests its car seats at its own (and Finland’s only) test rig in Vantaa. The 15-strong team is well on track to making driving with kids as safe as possible.

“We are a very small company and there are plenty of other players in the market that are much bigger than us,” sales, purchases and logistics manager Hans Bäckström noted. “However, our small size is also a strength, as we can be agile and move forward with our product development without unnecessary delays.”

Ficonic Solutions

It was after professionals from the mobile and automotive industries joined their forces that the Jyväskylä-based software developer came up with a novel solution, known as Carrio, to help motorists to stay focused on the road.

With the help of speech recognition and AI, Carrio delivers a safer and more user-friendly way to access services, information and media while driving and reduces driver distraction by a whopping 60 per cent. In a way, your mobile phone becomes your personal co-driver.

“When it comes to road safety, we have a different approach,” CEO Timo Salminen explained. “As people continue to use their smartphones regardless of bans and campaigns, Carrio is designed to be used behind the wheel. With a user interface combined with speech and handwriting, our solution is proven to be significantly safer compared to mobile apps.”

Nokian Tyres

By revealing the condition of their tyres, this reputable tyre manufacturer wants to give car owners one less thing to worry about. Its free digital service, called SnapSkan, makes the process of tyre condition checking and monitoring unbelievably simple and quick.

Without any extra cost, motorists can get their tyres scanned at various public locations equipped with the SnapSkan technology, such as parking garage exits and entries. The data is then sent directly to the motorist’s smart device.

Being the world’s first fully automatic service of its kind, SnapSkan has set a target of improving road safety for millions of people and is rapidly expanding internationally.

“SnapSkan is a unique consumer service, and it sets us apart from other tyre manufacturers,” said CEO Hille Korhonen. “SnapSkan allows us to communicate to drivers not only the condition of their tyres, but also what effects the condition has on road safety in general.”

Safety Reflector Finland

Did you know that personal safety reflectors were invented in Finland in the 1950s? Now, these humble yet life-saving accessories are a safety standard in their homeland.

“The purpose of a reflector is to ensure that you are visible in traffic and to prevent accidents and even deaths,” reminded Jutta Vainio, CEO of Safety Reflector Finland.

The company has established itself in Finland as a specialist in pedestrian visibility-related products and is relentlessly working on introducing its Coreflect safety reflectors to global markets.

Coreflect reflectors are perfectly in line with Finnish eco-friendly values: they are made of recyclable polystyrene and contain no harmful substances or compounds. And what matters most, they serve their purpose.

“We are at the forefront of quality assurance in reflector manufacturing,” Vainio stressed. “Our reflectors are approximately twice as efficient as other reflectors on the market.”

Text: Zhanna Koiviola

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