Aurora to become the first Arctic testing ecosystem for intelligent transport

The major trends of the digital revolution such as automation, electrification and mobility as a service will in the near future shake the foundations of the transport sector. An internationally unique information-based testing area and competence centre for intelligent transport automation, Aurora, will be established in Fell Lapland.

“Finland has a chance to become known as a global frontrunner in the growing market for intelligent transport by offering winter testing facilities for self-driving vehicles and Mobility as a Service development projects”, says Antti Vehviläinen, Director General of the Finnish Transport Agency.

This is the goal of the Aurora Project, published last week at the World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems in Bordeaux and offering the Finnish authorities the chance of advancing robotics and intelligent transport automation.

In the future, the tourist centres of Fell Lapland, for instance, can produce some mobility services using autonomic vehicles that utilise information on the road, road conditions and traffic in their operations. Piloting of the Mobility as a Service concept will begin in the Ylläs region during the coming winter.

“With Aurora, our goal is to advance an entirely new dimension in implementing our Arctic strategy. At the same time, we will be able to offer both domestic and international agents a tried-and-true testing and working platform, and new business opportunities for Finnish SMEs”, says project leader Reija Viinanen, the Managing Director of the Regional Development Agency for Fell Lapland.

Aurora’s sub-projects will be launched during the autumn as separate entities, and they will be integrated later into a uniform testing area for intelligent transport. The sub-projects will focus on intelligent transport automation, digital transport infrastructure, intelligent route management and mobility as a service. The testing area for intelligent transport automation will cover testing in both a closed testing range and on public roads.

“Via the digital revolution, the car manufacturing industry is strongly developing new concepts. In Europe, the car manufacturing industry is the largest private-sector investor with its estimated EUR 70 billion in research and development by the year 2030. At that time, it is estimated that there will already be 44 million autonomous vehicles on the global market”, says Viinanen.

In addition to the Regional Development Agency for Fell Lapland, the key actors in the planning and implementation of the Aurora project are the Finnish Transport Agency, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi, the National Land Survey of Finland, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, ITS Finland, HERE, Roadscanners Oy and Lapland Proving Ground.

Additional information: Reija Viinanen, +358 400 423 370, reija.viinanen@tunturilappi.fi, www.snowbox.fi.