Espoo, FI is piloting AVs

Espoo, Finland’s second largest city, began a pilot of a driverless shuttle service in June 2019. Gacha, the shuttle designed by Japanese firm Muji in partnership with Finnish firm Sensible 4, served the Otaniemi-Keilaniemi area, a high-tech innovation cluster. Two shuttles ran Tuesday-Thursday from 10:00-14:00 on a three-stop 2 km route connecting passengers disembarking from Aalto University Metro Station to nearby apartments and offices. The long-term goal, however, was to build towards a year-round permanent bus service by 2021.

This was the Gacha bus’ first public trial. The 4WD all-weather electric vehicles had a capacity of 16 (10 sitting, 6 standing), a maximum speed of 40 km/h in autonomous mode, and wireless charging capability. Additional Gacha deployments are planned in several other Finnish cities: Hämeenlinna, Vantaa and Helsinki.

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