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Visitors to this year’s Housing Fair have the chance to arrive in a whole new style – on a driverless bus. The Finnish Transport Agency is participating in a trial where a driverless Citymobil2 bus will transport visitors to the Housing Fair from Kivistö railway station to the fairgrounds each day of the fair, 10 July – 9 August 2015.

The trial of the driverless bus from Kivistö railway station to the Housing Fair gates will run a distance of approximately one kilometre on a route for pedestrians and cyclists, which will be closed to other traffic. A total of 4 driverless minibuses carrying 10 persons will be in operation. Passengers can hop on a bus at Kivistö station or at the gate to the fairgrounds.

The buses can carry 10 passengers at a time, most of whom have to stand. The driving speed will not make anyone’s head spin; instead, safety is the priority. Riding in a driverless bus is certainly a new experience and an opportunity not to be missed.

Traditional buses with drivers, will also transport visitors to the fair from the station to the main gate and back. All bus connections between the stations and the fairgrounds gate, either with or without drivers, will be free of charge.

Operating safely without a driver

Electric driverless buses are operated autonomously, and the operations will be monitored from a control room situated in the fairgrounds. If the bus encounters an obstruction, it will stop. It will not react to an obstruction by yielding or slowing down.

“Autonomous vehicles have not yet been tested to this extent in Finland”, says Asta Tuominen at the Finnish Transport Agency.

Automatic driving is developing at a breathtaking rate and Finland wants to be in the forefront when it comes to providing for autonomous driving and utilising its opportunities. This type of trial is a good way to bring the future closer to people in the present day. CityMobil2 represents an extremely advanced level of automation, which far surpasses that of today’s public transport.

There will be staff in the parking spaces guiding passengers and providing information about trials of driverless vehicles.

The trial is part of the CityMobil2 project, studying the use of driverless minibuses in public transport. The project aims at presenting driverless buses to a larger audience and arousing interest in driverless vehicles. Partners in the City of Vantaa trial are the Finnish Transport Agency, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi, the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and Helsinki Region Transport.

The driverless buses will operate between Kivistö railway station and the gates to the Housing Fair each day of the fair. Passengers will have the opportunity to experience riding a driverless bus each day from 10 July to 9 August, from 10:00 to 18:00.


Original source: Finish Transport agency