HELSINKI — A bus with no driver, but instead a robot behind the wheel (you can’t actually see it), begins shuttling regularly on Wednesday between the Pasila station, the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Center and Ratamestarinkatu in eastern Pasila district.
The robot shuttle bus is in service on line 29R and is included in the Journey Planner of Helsinki Region Transport HSL. The service will continue on weekdays until July 3 excluding Midsummer’s Eve, June 19. Scheduled departures take place from 8:15–9:35 and 13:40–15:20.
The project, which is entitled FABULOS, began one and a half years ago. Since the spring of 2020, three different kinds of driverless shuttle bus solutions are tested in real urban environments in Helsinki and four other European cities.
Three autonomous vehicles run partly on a dedicated lane in a loop that passes the busy Pasila rail station. The speed limit in the area is 40 kilometers per hour. Most of the route runs in regular traffic, and the route includes challenging points for autonomous vehicles, such as several intersections controlled by traffic lights, lane changing, street parking and a roundabout. The route includes three bus stops, at which the shuttle stops on request.
Stop requests are made with a mobile app.