On 24 May 2017 the Finnish Government submitted a new national transport law that will bring changes to the current state of the transport market.  Digitalisation is a key concept of this new Act, which was presented by Anne Berner, Finland’s Transport Minister, during Politico’s Connected Transport Summit held in Brussels on 4 December.

Automation and robotisation were the two main concepts underlined by the Finnish Minister, who sees the digitalisation of transport and new technological infrastructure as key future elements.

The Finnish Transport Code embraces all transport modes into one unique law, eliminating all specific laws referring to means of transportation. Berner explained that this new law “requires to open an API (Application Programming interface) for public and private service providers so that all can be integrated into one seamless travel chain that can be paid by one mobile system and all transport modes can be integrated into one holistic system”.

Berne continued: “This will create a possibility for all and everyone to attach themselves to one ticket system which includes all different opportunities to move from one place to another”, helping companies in the sector to come up with better solutions for users.

Under this vision, future infrastructure will connect different transport modes and collect data, which can be applied to provide further possibilities for all kinds of other services.

To sum up, the Transport Code foresees the following measures:

  • Encouraging new operators to enter the market by opening up data access to rivals. As Berner explained , “We want to see one holistic, totally integrated transport system. We regulate the market over data, we don’t regulate anymore over price”
  • Promoting fairness of competition in the passenger transport market and competitiveness of the service providers of both passenger and goods transport
  • Creating a framework for a more efficient arrangement of publicly subsidised passenger transport by utilising digitalisation, combined transport and different fleet types
  • Improving the efficiency of transport services helping to achieve environmental and climate goals.

Although the new Act is set to enter into force on 1 July 2018, the provisions relating to the introduction of intelligent transport systems linked to the ITS Directive have already been introduced on 1 October 2017, while most parts of the Act, among which are the provisions on the interoperability of data and information systems, will be applicable as of 1 January 2018.