First RIDE2RAIL pilot kicks off in Helsinki
The RIDE2RAIL consortium is happy to announce that the first project pilot, a robot bus service in Vuosaari, Helsinki, has officially kicked off. This pilot is the first part of two pilots planned in Helsinki, which both focus on reducing single-occupant private car trips and combining ride-sharing with scheduled transport services.
Led by RIDE2RAIL partners FV Helsinki and Metropolia, the bus line is operated with a self-driving electric robot bus, which drives amidst other traffic and is monitored by an on-board safety driver. The aim of the pilot is to improve the accessibility of Aurinkolahti area and drive at higher average speeds than in previous pilots, closer to the travel speed of current public transport services. The service will run until the end of November and is free of charge for passengers.
“Pilots like this still need to be carried out in real-life operating environments so that the technology and mobility service can be developed to meet practical needs. In the future, our aim is to first and foremost carry out longer pilots in which the technology and service model can be developed in a systematic and persistent manner,” says Project Manager Eetu Rutanen from Metropolia.
The pilot operator, Roboride, has the capacity to adjust the route and service experience of the robot bus quicker than in previous pilots. For example, changes along the route of the robot bus, such as new traffic arrangements or construction sites, can be reacted to more flexibly than in previous projects.
The pilot unites different stakeholders
While the pilot is part of the RIDE2RAIL project and led by two project partners, the vehicle is manufactured by Auve Tech, which is based in Estonia. The pilot is operated by Roboride and is carried out in collaboration with the City of Helsinki.
For further information on the robot bus operation and on-demand call function, please check the Roboride application page.
RIDE2RAIL will organise another pilot in Finland
During the RIDE2RAIL project, another pilot will be organised in Helsinki. Kicking off next year, the second pilot will test the RIDE2RAIL ridesharing platform (or enriched Travel Companion and driver companion) integrated with existing mobility platforms (e.g. public transport route planner). More is soon to come on this pilot, so stay tuned!