This summer, Tallinn will continue to test the operation of self-driving buses. The City Council approved Tallinn’s participation in an international project in which self-driving buses are planned to be operated without a driver present in the vehicle, but overseeing its operation from a control room.
As a result of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region external project ‘Sohjoa Last Mile – Pilot of a Last-Mile Eco-Friendly Self-Driving Bus’, over two months this summer, a pilot project of the Iseauto bus developed by the Tallinn University of Technology will be carried out in the district of the university. The project will involve teleoperation, meaning that the bus will be operated by a person in TalTech’s control room, using the 5G network for communication. The aim of the pilot project is to establish what teleoperation will look like in the future.
According to Tiit Terik, chairman of Tallinn City Council, self-driving buses have already been tested on public roads in various districts of Tallinn over several years without major problems. ‘We have followed the principle of “Think globally, but test in Tallinn” for a number of innovative solutions. Hopefully, this still globally rare technological step, where no operator is present in the vehicle, will enable self-driving buses to be put into regular and permanent use in some regions in the coming years,’ Terik stated.
The lead partner of the project is the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Finland; other partners include the Tallinn Transport Department, Tallinn University of Technology, Forum Virium Helsinki, the City of Gdansk (Poland), the Municipality of Kongsberg (Norway), and the Municipality of Zemgale (Latvia).
The budget of the Tallinn Transport Department for this project is 74,000 euros, of which 85% is made up of external funding support and 15% of own contribution.
This article is based on a press release from the City of Tallinn.