Sohjoa Last Mile – Baltic Sea Region transitioning into eco-friendly autonomous last mile public transportation
Sohjoa Last Mile
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
3 Transport
objective
3.5 Urban mobility

Sohjoa Last Mile

Sohjoa Last Mile helped cities in the Baltic Sea region introduce automated public transportation vehicles.
Project summary

Public transport is not as flexible and accessible as private cars are in the Baltic Sea region. In general, public transportation in the region is moderately used, but still, in many cities public transport can not offer competitive options for the citizens. This triggers the use of private cars for daily routines and commuting. Public transportation affects people´s well-being, traffic emissions and capacity problems as well as contributes to the climate change.

In order to tackle the traffic problems, the modal share of public transportation should be increased and more environmentally friendly transport solutions presented. Meanwhile, the use of low-emission public transportation vehicles such as biogas and hybrid buses is increasing which provides a good basis for integrating electric automated last mile public transportation to the travel chain. Besides the problems with traffic congestion, cars as a rule, take up more space in comparison to the number of passengers. This is a challenge for at least urban areas with a high density of population.

Electric mini busses without an operator can be a game changer for public transport carriers, as the costs for the operator of a vehicle can be up to 60 % of the entire costs. Such automated shuttles could promote change in urban public transportation, in particular by providing a solution for public transport users to drive the last mile, i.e. who need an additional connection between a station and their final destination. The project´s Sohjoa Last Mile predecessor project Sohoja Baltic aimed to increase the attractiveness of public transport by improving offered services and introducing automated driverless electric minibuses. Sohjoa Last Mile demonstrated how to run automated shuttles without a safety operator in Kongsberg (Norway), Gdansk (Poland) and Tallinn (Estonia).

Budgets

Sohjoa Last Mile
in numbers
  • 0.90
    Million
    Total
  • 0.53
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.00
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.13
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

Speedy start thanks to a strong network

Sohjoa Last Mile (SLM) continued to support the change in the Baltic Sea region in the field of urban public transportation, initiated by the Sohjoa Baltic project.  This covered automated driverless electric minibuses as part of the public transport chain for first/last mile mobility needs. As the SLM pilot cities had participated in Sohjoa Baltic in 2017-2020, trustful relations and a strong network allowed to start off immediately.

Pilots enable to evaluate

The Sohjoa Last Mile project succeeded in completing all three automated vehicle pilots in Kongsberg (Norway), Tallinn (Estonia), and Helsinki (Finland) testing remote supervision/control. SLM piloting was aimed to analyse the technical capabilities and risks when driving without a safety driver. It included the human perception towards the driverless bus together with recommendations on the future language of driving, the communications network requirements for remote-control driving as well as evaluation of 5G network advantages based on pilots.

In total, pilots included: 179 operational days (107 of those without operator on board), 2714 passengers (limited due to Covid) and 3522 KMs driven.

Outputs

Tallinn pilot report

The report presents technical capabilities and potential risks when driving without a safety driver. Among the risks: teleoperation (connection, cybersecurity, hardware), on-site safety person (human error-related issues), actions of passengers onboard the bus (malicious and curious passengers, their attention on safety, possible dangers related to entering and leaving the vehicle), and other road users (e.g., other traffic participants, animals). Moreover, the pilot covered the domain of human perception towards the driverless bus and the language of driving, which was documented based on the survey. The survey aimed to explore how pedestrians understood the signalling patterns (both visual and audio) used in the bus to communicate with other traffic participants. Additionally, the report addressed the communications network requirements for remote-control driving and the evaluation of 5G network advantages based on the remote control.

Kongsberg pilot report

The report provides an overview of the Kongsberg pilot, the processes before and during the pilot as well as a review of the data collected and lessons learned. Besides, it covers insights into regulatory processes as well as challenges and success factors. The report forms the basis for the comparative study between the pilots, as it provides details about the pilot, including statistical data from the operations and the conducted user surveys. The report is primarily intended for PTOs and the national road authorities.  The document is published on the City&Lab website (a national knowledge-sharing platform for future mobility projects and initiatives), representing a baseline for future projects of a similar character. For the PTO, it also solidified and visualised the timeframe, potential challenges and solutions, which helps them to plan new efforts in the domain of autonomous transport more efficiently.

Gdansk pilot report

The report includes the following aspects: technical capabilities and potential risks when driving without a safety driver in a closed area; guidelines for organisational set up to launch fully autonomous mobility services in large public areas; experiment report on the perception towards the driverless bus together with recommendations on the future LoD; experiment report on the communications network requirements for remote-control driving; an evaluation of mobile network to carry out remote control functionality; and report on the implementation process in relation to legislation, surveillance plans, underway adjustments. Besides, it includes the key statistics covering i.e. number of passengers, journey times, distance, speed, teleoperation as well as number of the vehicle operator’s interventions and reasons for them. In addition, the report describes all the obstacles in the process of turning the pilot to a reality and recommendations for best practices.

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Partners

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

  • Town
    Vantaa
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
161,953.00
60.309187125.0364526

Tallinn University of Technology

  • Town
    Tallinn
  • Region
    Põhja-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
126,682.66
59.437215524.7453688

Forum Virium Helsinki

  • Town
    Helsinki
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
83,250.00
60.167488124.9427473

The City of Gdansk

  • Town
    Gdańsk
  • Region
    Trójmiejski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
179,500.00
53.303521419.9057132

City of Tallinn

  • Town
    Tallinn
  • Region
    Põhja-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
61,817.34
59.437215524.7453688

The Municipality of Kongsberg

  • Town
    KONGSBERG
  • Region
    Buskerud
  • Country
    Norway
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
250,000.00
59.5945500499999959.670860075643745

Zemgale Planning Region

  • Town
    Jelgava
  • Region
    Zemgale
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
35,000.00
56.64143723.7339107