Business Finland aims to make Finland a globally recognized provider of sustainable, carbon-neutral solutions for cities

The Decarbonized Cities Program launched by Business Finland on April 18, 2023 aims to make Finland a globally recognized provider of sustainable, carbon-neutral solutions for cities. The program helps Finnish companies and organizations to find international cooperation and business partners. New exports are estimated to amount to several billion euros.

Smart solutions and sustainability principles drive global urban development

Urban development has a significant impact on climate change: cities consume 78% of the world’s energy and account for more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. In the near future, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. The largest challenges in urban environments are related to the built environment, energy, and traffic. From the point of view of the cities of the future, the utilization of digitalization and data as well as new business models have great potential.

Most major cities in Europe and in many other OECD countries have set a challenging goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 or 2035. The EU has selected 100 cities to implement the EU’s Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities mission. Six of these are located in Finland: Espoo, Helsinki, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Tampere, and Turku. The goal of the mission is to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 through developing smart and sustainable solutions.

Decarbonized Cities Program In a Nutshell

  • The aim is to help Finnish companies and other stakeholders to create new business and networks by solving urban carbon-neutrality issues.
  • The program will increase and strengthen the multisectoral supply and expertise that cities need to manage their CO2 emissions and energy transition today and tomorrow.
  • Long-term relationships with foreign cities are established in terms of both innovation and business.
  • New Finnish exports will amount to EUR 3 billion.
  • The program will involve close collaboration with selected domestic and foreign cities, large and small companies, researchers, and other stakeholders.
  • The program will focus on comprehensive solutions instead of partial solutions.
  • EUR 150 million will be allocated to the development and modification of solutions.
  • The program will run until 2028.

Read more on The program’s website

The picture is from the program’s website on the subject

The first Nysse line operated by a robot bus is coming – Tampere to launch regular robot bus operations this year

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