Self-driving bus tested on route 90R in Vuosaari
A new route, 90R, has been launched on 27 September 2021 in Vuosaari, Helsinki. The route in question will function as a trial in which a driverless bus runs among other traffic.
A new route, 90R, has been launched on 27 September 2021 in Vuosaari, Helsinki. The route in question will function as a trial in which a driverless bus runs among other traffic. For safety purposes, the bus will always have a driver on board to monitor the trial. The purpose of the trial is to improve the accessibility of Aurinkolahti and operate the route at an average speed that exceeds the speed used in the previous trials. The trial is set to run until the end of November. Passengers may use the service free of charge.
If necessary, Roboride, the company that carries out the trial, has the ability to make adjustments to the route of the robot bus and the service experience quicker than before. For example, accommodating to possible changes taking place along the route of the bus, such as new traffic arrangements or constructions sites, will be more flexible compared to the previous trials.
The self-driving bus operates under route number 90R between 8am–12am and 4pm–8pm (the bus is charged during the four-hour gap) on weekdays (Mon–Fri) according to fixed schedules found in the Journey Planner. Passengers are requested to follow the coronavirus guidelines set for public transport (such as the use of face masks) when on board the bus. The timetables for the route are available on the Journey Planner.
The bus can be requested to serve specific stops on weekends
Passengers can request the robot bus to serve a specific stop along the predetermined route on weekends (Sat–Sun) between 9am–12am and 3pm–6pm (the bus is charged during the 3-hour gap). The purpose of the on-demand function is to offer a service that answers to passengers’ specific needs. This way the robot bus – that has capacity for six passengers – can avoid making any unnecessary trips. Using the on-demand function requires a smartphone and the appropriate app. The bus will always have a driver on board for safety reasons.
Trials require cooperation between several parties
The pilot trial is part of the Ride2Rail project under the European Union's Horizon 2020 program. The bus has been manufactured by the Estonian company Auve Tech and the bus used in the pilot is operated by the Finnish company Roboride. The trial is carried out in cooperation with the City of Helsinki, Forum Virium Helsinki and the Smart Mobility Innovation Hub of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
Passengers can give feedback on the trial, either directly to the driver on board the bus or via a survey created by the Transport Research Centre Verne at the Tampere University.
The stops and route for bus 90R on the map: