Two autonomous Toyota Proace mini-buses, automated by Finnish self-driving technology company Sensible 4, will work as feeder traffic for the first tramline in the city. - Photo: Sensible 4

Two autonomous Toyota Proace mini-buses, automated by Finnish self-driving technology company Sensible 4, will work as feeder traffic for the first tramline in the city.

Photo: Sensible 4

A new autonomous driving pilot is about to begin in early 2022 with two self-driving Toyota vehicles moving people as the last-mile transportation service in cold, snowy, and dark winter conditions.

It will be part of the public transportation service in the city of Tampere in Finland. One target of the pilot is to gather feedback on how autonomous vehicles work as a part of public transportation in Tampere city.

A new self-driving shuttle bus pilot offering the last mile service in Tampere, Finland will examine how autonomous vehicles could be utilized as a part of public transportation in the area. 

“The upcoming pilot in Tampere is an excellent real-life example of a transportation service that will eventually improve people’s lives in the suburban areas, decrease the need for privately owned cars, and help with the lack of professional drivers. We're also developing on-demand transportation functionality to further advance the service”, said Jussi Suomela, CBO, and co-founder of Sensible 4 about the route and role of autonomous shuttle bus service to the cities. He continues: “We see shared, electric and driverless mobility as a huge improvement in sustainability of transportation. It's really making an impact on our cities."

Hervanta suburb in Tampere is known as a university campus area, and a science hub - it’s also known for its development towards a smart city. The testbed in Hervanta enables the testing of urban transport with automated vehicles in a suburban environment. Also, a digital twin of the test area has been made to enable the planning of new transportation services.

“Hervanta testing area is a serving testbed where science communities, manufacturing industry, city, and companies develop smart transportation solutions together. We would like to implement similar activities as this autonomous driving pilot also in the future”, said Markku Niemi, senior business advisor of the Connectivity Ecosystem of Business Tampere, the Tampere region economic development agency.

The route is around 3.5 kilometers long. It runs clockwise with 10 bus stops. This pilot supports the development and launch of Dawn, Sensible 4’s all-weather autonomous driving software, which will be released later next year.

The Tampere last-mile trial:

  • Operation time: 3.1.-18.3.2022
  • 2 autonomous Toyota Proace mini-buses
  • 3.5-kilometer long route
  • 10 bus stops
  • The speed limit is 40 km/h
  • Mixed traffic: Other vehicles, buses, and tram
  • Mid-winter time with snowy weather conditions

Originally posted on Fleet Forward

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