Minister of Transport and Local Government Henna Virkkunen: Finland is a Traffic Lab

Minister of Transport and Local Government Henna Virkkunen opened the ITS European Congress in Helsinki on Monday, 16 June. Minister Virkkunen named three mega trends in transport: “Mobility is turning into a service, the amount of information and its utilisation are growing exponentially, and automation and robotics are affecting the conventions in mobility and transportation”

According to Ms Virkkunen, all cars in future will be able to connect to the Internet independently to report about congestion, road weather or sudden changes in driving conditions. They will also communicate with other cars in order to avoid dangerous situations.

“The next terminal device after smart phones and tablets will be the vehicle. Already this year every tenth car sold in Finland has online connectivity. In three years, three out of four new cars will be online-connected, and in the next few years the feature will be in all new vehicles. Cars will be part of the Internet of Things.  Information technology has made an entirely new type of value creation possible in many sectors of industry.”

The customer is the king also in transport. In the future, transport will be a service: Mobility as a Service.
Minister Virkkunen encouraged both Finnish and international businesses to test their commercial services in Finland: “In fact, I now declare Finland as the country for open traffic experiments – Finland is a Traffic Lab.”

Presentation of the Traffic Lab project:

ITSEurope-TrafficLab-brief-EP (Pdf file, 1 Mb)