A month-long trial of four automated minibuses will take place in the Finnish city of Vantaa as part of the CityMobil2 project.

The trial will begin in early July and last until early August, with the four buses carrying passengers on a kilometre-long route between the train station in the area of Kivistö in Vantaa and the Messukeskus Exhibition and Convention Centre.

With a capacity of 10 passengers per bus, the vehicles will move relatively slowly, as the route they take will be shared with cyclists and pedestrians.

The buses will be controlled from a main control room, and sensors will detect if there are obstacles in the path of a vehicle. The bus can then stop, slow down, or manoeuvre to avoid the person or object in front of it.

The Vantaa trial is one of a series of small pilots which will run throughout Europe. A similar pilot took place in Oristano (Italy) in 2014, while larger-scale demonstrations are planned in La Rochelle (France), Milan (Italy) and the West Lausanne region in Switzerland. 

Original author: Lewis Macdonald
Picture: City of Vantaa