The first Nysse line operated by a “robobus” is to start in Tampere’s Hervanta neighbourhood later this year
Tampere will be the first Finnish city to launch robot busses in regular public transit this year. Although the minibuses are self-driving, there will be a human conductor on board during the initial phase of their rollout.
The south-central city is beginning Finland’s first training programme for robot bus drivers. The six-month course will be held at the Tampere Adult Education Centre (Takk).
Successful graduates of the course are to be employed by Roboride. The Tampere-based firm has previously tested self-driving vehicles and gathered experience in city districts such as Hiedanranta and Hervanta.
Robot cars travel independently and lack traditional vehicle control devices, but there will be a driver on board to ensure safety, at least at first. The vehicle has an emergency button, with which the driver can stop the vehicle manually if necessary. In addition, a game controller-type device is used, with which the driver can take control of the minibus.
Remote monitoring later
During the initial phase of operations, there will be a driver on board, but in the future, the aim is for drivers to handle the monitoring remotely. In addition to safety driver skills, students will be trained to drive a traditional minibus, which may be used to replace a robot vehicle in exceptional situations.
After a two-month trial period early this year, Tampere Regional Transport (Nysse) plans to start using robobuses in regular traffic before year’s end. The kilometre-long route connects the tram line’s Hervanta terminus with the Lintuhytti residential area.
The safety driver training is being carried out by Roboride and Takk in partnership between the Pirkanmaa TE (employment) office, the local ELY Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.
The training is intended primarily for unemployed and unemployed TE office clients. Sunday is the last day to apply for the course through a local TE office.
Article is originally published on YLE News webpage .
Image: (file photo from Hiedanranta in September 2020). Antti Eintola / Yle