Finland, Tampere Hiedanranta
Driverless shuttles improving public transportation reachability internationally
First Foreign Project
We can proudly announce that our first foreign country project is now completed, it can be considered as successful and the feedback has been marvelous. The deployment took place in Finland, the experiment was part of the Hiedanranta MaaS project in the city of Tampere, which develops sustainable mobility as a service.
We carried out the project with our local partner, Roboride. In this collaboration, Auve Tech took care of technology and vehicles, while Roboride was responsible for translating customer needs into a service plan and operating the project on sight. Our self-driving bus, Iseauto, served passengers for two months in Finland. First two weeks autonomous shuttles operated from 8am-12am and after that from 13pm-17pm. Self-driving shuttles covered a total of 603 km and 419 passengers were served during the project.
The project had two main goals. To test the autonomous shuttles solution in the business district and at the same time, already serve the people and provide solutions for their transportation needs in the area. We wanted to find out if sustainable and comfortable transportation options are beneficial for the Hiedanranta district. Route network was planned to improve mobility and serve current functions in the area.
Public transport was connected from Hiedanranta bus stop to West gate bus stop. The area and route network shall be developed forward in the future. There were 6 designated bus stops on the road and each stop was marked with an information poster. Due to the situation with coronavirus, the maximum group size was 4 people. The service did not cost even a penny.
We had two operating options, scheduled traffic and on-demand traffic. Scheduled mode maximizes capacity. In scheduled mode, waits will be longer, that due to lower service level, may lead to fewer users. On-demand mode allows better flexibility, which leads to a better service level in a low demand environment. To use it you have to order the service through an app, which is available on both android and IOs platforms.
There was an operator in the bus during the ride to ensure safeness. Iseauto took part in public traffic with a maximum speed of 25km/h. The weather was in our favour, there were some rainy days, but nothing that could stop our autonomous shuttle from operating. Visibility on the track was pretty good, at least 50 meters.
The route may be extended to reach Lielahti area, which is currently the major commercial center in Western Tampere. Furthermore, Lielahti has good bus connections, which would further enhance reachability of Hiedanranta. Arriving via Lielahti would be an alternative entry point to Hiedanranta.
Taking into use this kind of services makes the environment more green and gives the city opportunities to save some space from making more parking lots. The free space could be used for greater purpose and it would be more beneficial for the city.
Auve Tech autonomous shuttles improved reachability and attractiveness with public transportation in the Hiedanranta area, providing them fast traveling service. The customers were happy and they liked the idea that autonomous shuttles will connect public transportation stations, making everyday travels more easy. Roboride gathered as much data as possible to make conclusions about how that kind of service impacts the city. Data collection includes public transportation integration, monthly reporting, operator feedback and surveys.
The cooperation between Auve and Roboride went smoothly. Roboride has also pointed out that the support from Auve was enjoyable, because answers and instructions were fast to come. Together we were able to find the solutions for minor problems that occured.
At the end of the project, we had visitors, Fabulos project (Forum Virium) leaders came to examine our vehicle. Fabulos project focuses on how cities can use automated buses in a systematic way. The goal is to procure the operations of an autonomous bus line. They really enjoyed riding with Iseauto and for their surprise Iseauto spoke in Finnish. They were satisfied with the outcome of this project.