Helsinki: Piloting an autonomous shuttle


Helsinki (Finland)

Challenge area:

Mobility Infrastructure


Implementation period:



The Challenge

FABULOS (Future Automated Bus Urban Level Operation Systems) focused on how cities can use automated buses in a systematic way. The goal was to procure the operations of autonomous bus lines and to accelerate the introduction of new types of automated last-mile solutions entering the European market. Self-driving minibuses had already been tested in technical demonstrations in various countries, but a proof-of-concept for the management of autonomous fleets as part of the public transportation provision was not yet available.

The Solution

The solution’s aim was to test efficient and environmentally friendly last-mile autonomous vehicles making sure that the offered solution is realistic and a commercially attractive alternative to traditional urban public transportation.

Six pilots were carried out in 5 different cities. For the Helsinki pilot, the fleet consisted of three vehicles: the GACHA shuttle bus, a Renault Twizy and a Dongfeng CM7 retrofitted with necessary equipment and sensors for automated driving. The vehicles drove along a circular route in Eastern Pasila, going from the Pasila station next to the Mall of Tripla, then turning north to circle back to Messukeskus Fair centre.

The vehicle and software provider was Sensible4 from Finland. The pilot coordinator was Forum Virium Helsinki.

The pilot was carried out in the following phases:

  • Phase 1 Solution Design: five commercial consortia were selected to prepare a concept and feasibility study.
  • Phase 2 Prototype Development and Lab Testing: four suppliers were selected that transformed the most promising ideas into well-defined and functional prototypes, validated into a technical test laboratory against the requirements defined in the Functional Specifications.
  • Phase 3 Field Testing: three suppliers were selected. They tested the prototype solutions in real-life conditions, based on the Functional Specifications set by the Procuring Partners.