Tampere, FI is piloting AVs
As Finland’s second largest city, Tampere is seated in the middle of the country’s industrial region which includes the birthplace of IT-giant Nokia and the spinoff Nokian Tyres. The city is no stranger to having advanced mobility technology on their streets. In 2013 Tampere participated in Drive C2X, a connected vehicle research project funded in part by the European Commission. Three years later the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT) chose Tampere to establish UrbanAutoTest, an AV pilot zone. The steering committee is comprised of the City of Tampere, HERE (another Nokia spinoff), the Finnish Transportation Safety Agency (Trafi), and a handful of SMEs, making this a decidedly nordic cross-sector collaboration.
UrbanAutoTest seeks to provide a platform for connected and autonomous vehicle innovation by laying the groundwork for others. They currently have three test vehicles, including an “all terrain vehicle” with tank tracks for off-road testing, and have developed a shared data format for vehicle-to-everything (v2X) communication. In addition to fostering knowledge transfer to the local tech industry, UrbanAutoTest hopes to work with municipalities and authorities to develop and refine a certification process for AVs. This activity makes use of a 40 kilometer test circuit that runs through public highways, intersections, local streets, and Finland’s longest automotive tunnel. In coming years they hope to take advantage of their natural climate to become a “four season” test bed allowing AVs to grapple with the demands of snow and ice.