Finland a good environment for experiments in automated transport
The Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland has released a plan for promoting intelligent automation.
The plan covers all transport modes: road, rail, air and maritime transport. The aim is to create an environment in Finland that is attractive for automation development and easy in terms of legislation. This would pave the way for business operations in automation.
The Ministry's plan is also linked with the Government's key project on growth environment for digital business operations. One measure of the project is promotion of robotics.
Intelligent automation means robotics where a device or a system is capable of more and more independent action, observation, learning and decision-making by means of programme-linked sensors, artificial intelligence and internet of things.
In transport automation promotion, experiments play a key role. They provide necessary information about the feasibility of the solutions.
"It is the public sector's role to provide a favourable environment for experiments. The goal is to generate new and versatile business operations surrounding intelligent automation in transport, which will benefit everyone developing, providing and using the services," says Ms Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications.
According to the plan, legislation will be developed so that it will not prevent or slow down automation experiments. Legislation favourable to experimentation makes it easier and less expensive to start short-term projects on a short notice, for example.
The competencies already existing in Finland will be utilised in constructing the information and transport infrastructure required for automation. This calls for close cooperation between the authorities and businesses, such as telecom operators and network developers. Collaboration is needed, for example, when sensors required in automated transport are built on transport routes.
The conditions in Finland set high demands for automation. According to the plan, intelligent automation solutions must be developed to meet the Arctic conditions in Finland without disruption. Finland could act both as a test environment and forerunner in automated transport.
Ms Kirsi Miettinen, Director of Unit for Transport Safety and Automation, tel. +358 295 342570
- Publication in Finnish: Robots on land, in water and in the air – Promoting intelligent automation in transport services (Publications of the Ministry of Transport and Communications 7/2015)