24.2.2021, Finland Sensible 4 self-driving pilot in Gjesdal, Norway opens for passengers. The EU-funded Horizon 2020 project FABULOS has been running in Norway since late January without passengers due to the requirements of local road authorities. Now the first phase including 500 hours of autonomous piloting is conducted without incidents or major issues and therefore the pilot opened for passengers this Monday.
“The opening of the pilot is a major milestone in the FABULOS project and it’s yet another example of our autonomous driving software’s performance in harsh weather conditions”, says Harri Santamala, the CEO of Sensible 4.
The passengers can board on and off the autonomous Toyota Proace vehicles from dedicated bus stops at the Ålgård Center and at the Myrengveien bus stop at the nearby hill. The ride is free of charge. The pilot is being operated with Mobility Forus, a Norwegian company providing professional safety drivers ensuring a safe ride.
The pilot is being driven from Monday to Friday from 7:40 in the morning to 19:20 in the evening and from 8:40 to 15:20 on Saturdays. Shuttle-buses leave from the Myrengveien and Amfi bus stops every 10 minutes, (excluding safety driver break hours 10-12 and 16-18, then departures are every 20 minutes). The schedule will also be available at the bus stops.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only two passengers can be taken on board the vehicle, three if the passengers represent the family or same group of people already being in contact with each other.
The self-driving pilot will continue in Gjesdal, Norway until the 4th of March, which is the last day of operations.
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.
FABULOS (Future Automated Bus Urban Level Operation System) is a research and development project to establish and to deliver a systemic proof-of-concept on automated last-mile public transport as part of the existing transport system of urban areas, based on the use of self-driving minibusses. The FABULOS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and runs until 31 March 2021. The FABULOS project has partners in Estonia, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal.