Smooth, sustainable and user-friendly future mobility under way in Tampere, Finland

News, Press release

Reaching of emission and sustainability targets are a challenge for both urban development and transport performance. New solutions are needed to deliver mobility services tailored to users and sustainable, safe and smooth urban transport. The Finnish Smart Rail Ecosystem has set itself the goal of creating the world's best tram in terms of passenger experience and life-cycle services.

SmartRail, a network and ecosystem formed by Škoda Transtech, the City of Tampere, Tampere University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and several other actors, has taken up the challenges of the digital-green transition in the transport sector and set itself the goal of creating the most attractive tram-integrated services on the market. The ecosystem has already implemented tram-related technological and service innovations and developed tools to ceate an autonomous tram.

The third innovation phase of SmartRail was launched at the beginning of the year, aimed at developing tram-connected digital mobility services and scalable technology solutions for the sustainable, service-oriented and safe autonomous future of urban mobility. The project will create data-driven solutions to improve the travel experience, seamless travel chains and road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and special groups.

Future challenges will be compounded by the demands of transport autonomy and digitalisation for sensor technologies, telecommunications performance, data quality and sharing, cyber and information security. 

Development work progresses through experimentation

An important tool for the trials is the internationally unique Lyyli Living Lab testing environment for smart urban mobility. At its heart is a modern tram that operates in real-life traffic in Tampere, serving as a versatile platform for experimentation and testing, and where citizens can participate in the development work. The tram will use cameras and other sensors to observe traffic, movement and its surroundings, enabling the development of next-generation passenger services and technology solutions in a real-life environment.

Urban transport trends are currently focused on the integration of mobility services with other services available to citizens, personalised services to improve the travel experience and transport safety solutions.

“The SmartRail Ecosystem is a great example of multifaceted cooperation where a new urban development project – the Tampere Tram   – acts as a connecting factor and enabler of the city's strategic goals of a sustainable, safe and smooth transport system. To achieve these goals, we are developing user-centred services and a future autonomous urban transport system,” says City of Tampere Project Manager Mika Kulmala.

The results of the project will be used both to implement a user-friendly and safely automated urban mobility as well as to generate new business, business-led growth, exports and new jobs.

The SmartRail#3 consortium includes GIM Robotics, iQ Payments, Moovy, Nodeon, Solita, Tietoevry Create, the City of Tampere, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, Tampere University and VTT, which is acting as coordinator of the joint project. Negotiations are also ongoing with Normi Valaistus. Ecosystem actors are building a joint offering for focused target markets by combining their complementary skills.

The project, funded by Business Finland and worth around EUR 6 million, started in February 2024 and will conclude at the end of 2026. The project, part of Business Finland's Decarbonized Cities programme, is part of the SmartRail Ecosystem development path and is also linked to Tietoevry's Business Finland Veturi project. 

Further information

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Raine Hautala, SmartRail Ecosystem's Research Coordinator
tel. +358 40 584 1114, [email protected]

Tietoevry Create
Esa Järvinen, Chair of the SmartRail#3 project steering group
tel. +358 400 375 830, [email protected]

SmartRail website


Street view in Tampere, including a tram
Tampere Tram in summer 2022 photographed by Wille Nyyssönen
Raine Hautala
Raine Hautala
Principal Scientist
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