Autonomous Last-Mile Shuttle Bus Pilot Will Support Tampere Tram Line at the End of the Year
18.03.2021, Finland A new autonomous driving pilot will be driven in Tampere Finland at the end of the year 2021. Two Toyota Proaces, automated by Sensible 4, will work as a last-mile shuttle bus service in Tampere, Finland, supporting the new tram line. The Hervanta pilot area is known for its development towards the smart suburb.
Finnish autonomous driving software company Sensible 4 has been chosen to drive a pilot in Tampere, Hervanta at the end of the year – the last-mile service will complement the upcoming new tram line. The pilot is a part of the EU-funded SHOW project. Two automated Toyota Proaces will be transporting local citizens to tram stops along the 3,1-kilometer pilot route. The pilot will run for two months between December 2021 and February 2022, exact dates will be announced later.
“This time there will be a possibility to utilize the 5G network and we are driving on tram lanes in some parts of the route. It’s essential to have new factors, such as new features or surroundings, in the pilots to develop the technology further”, comments Jussi Suomela, co-founder, and CBO of Sensible 4. Of course, at that time of the year, there will be Nordic winter conditions, which always challenge the software and sensors but make moving in a shuttle pleasant for the passengers.
“I’m really happy to see Tampere city’s will to be a forerunner and take steps towards a smart city environment”, says Suomela. In 2022 Sensible 4 will launch Dawn, commercial driverless shuttle bus software so the pilot will be one of the last stages for the development of Dawn.
The Smart Suburb of Hervanta
The Hervanta pilot supports the strategy of Tampere city to develop its feeder transportation services and the step-by-step deployment of last-mile autonomous transportation to the tram line. Hervanta is taking leaps towards becoming the smart suburb: autonomous last-mile service is part of the near future strategy and there is already comprehensive 5G coverage in the area. Also, the smart city company and national coordinator of the SHOW project, Sitowise strives for help to make Tampere city more sustainable, energy-efficient, and low carbon. The company has created a digital twin of the Hervanta area, which is a versatile tool for planning new services such as autonomous transportation.
“It is a 3D modeling of Hervanta. Traffic signs and lights are for example in exactly where they are in real life and the weather follows the existing conditions”, explains Pekka Eloranta, Leading Consultant at Sitowise. He continues: “Autonomous vehicles can for instance test drive the route in the digital twin and use different kinds of data flows, like darkness or rain.”
Sensible 4 Oy is a Finnish self-driving tech company that has solved a major obstacle in autonomous driving, varying weather. The company develops full-stack autonomous driving software that turns any vehicle into self-driving. The unique technology combines software and information from several different sensors, enabling vehicles to operate in all weather conditions, including snowfall and fog. In 2022 it will launch the world’s first commercial all-weather software product, Dawn, for SAE level 4 driverless last-mile shuttles.
The founders of Sensible 4 have been developing autonomous vehicles since the ‘80s. In February 2020, Sensible 4 secured 7 million dollars in series A funding round from Japanese investors and the technology has won multiple awards, including 1st place in the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport 2019 competition and the Finnish Engineering Prize in 2020.
Sitowise is a company with personnel of 1.900 and an expert corporation operating in the Nordic region, offering its clients the full range of solutions related to the built environment. Sitowise is guided by an ambitious vision to be the most sustainable and responsible partner in developing a prosperous living environment. Smart cities, smooth traveling, and spaces for living where daily life finds a durable foundation and making sustainable choices is easy. That is what Sitowise does. Sitowise has developed the digital twin of Hervanta suburb that can be used as a design tool for instance for the automatic traffic test area in Hervanta. The digital twin of Hervanta is a versatile and user-friendly service design tool. Just one click and you are there: On the screen, you have a bird’s-eye view of a 3D model of Hervanta, a suburb of Tampere. When you scroll closer to the streets, you will be surprised how detailed the model is. All the traffic signs and bus stops are in place and the weather conditions are realistic. Another click and you are inside a vehicle. You can drive the car around the model and activate various data streams that you might find useful.
SHOW Project. The Hervanta autonomous driving pilot is a part of the EU-funded SHOW Project. SHOW has 69 partners in 13 countries. It includes car manufacturers, software companies, research centers, and authorities. The purpose is to develop and test self-driving vehicles in urban surroundings and outline industrial standards for the industry. From Finland, Sensible 4, Sitowise, Tampere City, and VTT are part of SHOW.