Mobility services an alternative to private car use
Roads in Finland in 2020 will hum to the sound of low-emission vehicles
running on renewable energy, electricity, hydrogen and sustainable biofuels.
The share of public transport and car pooling in densely populated urban areas
will increase. Mobility arranged through easy-to-use services will become a
viable alternative to buying a private car.
VTT's TransSmart vision of a model country for sustainable transport throws
the spotlight on efficiency – in vehicles, systems, and services. Transport
will be a fusion of sustainable energy sources, advanced technology, safety,
high service levels, mobility alternatives and new ways of operating.
“Fine-tuning vehicles or developing renewable fuels will simply not be enough
in the long run. The entire system needs revamping. You won't make the world a
better place by filling Helsinki with electric cars, for example. They take up
just as much room as conventional cars running on petrol or diesel. The ways
to achieve change will be through increasing the share of public transport,
and rethinking mobility and logistics services to include the views of the
people who need the services,” VTT’s Research Professor and TransSmart
Programme Manager Nils-Olof Nylund says with emphasis.
“Smart transport solutions create more efficient travel- and logistics chains
and an overview of the status of the transport system in real-time. The idea
is that the travellers will be able to select several service options and to
easily combine them into suitable travel chains: private car, on foot,
bicycle, bus, taxi, demand responsive transport, carpooling, car and transport
joint use, tram, metro, train or aeroplane. This would lead to a reduced need
for car ownership or for the construction of parking spaces and streets. The
crux of the idea is to achieve an increase in the fluency, ease of use and
accessibility of travel chains. Service accessibility also covers safe and
trouble-free payment,” says Senior Scientist Raine Hautala,
leader of the TransSmart programme's Transport Services theme.
Rechargeable hybrid the new favourite
In increasing number of new cars in 2020 will run on renewable energy. The
growing share of new car sales taken up by electric cars will have reached
10–15%. Rechargeable hybrids will be a particular favourite.
Electrification of bus traffic has already begun, and by 2020 the estimate is
for more than 100 electric buses in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
New plants producing sustainable biofuels have already come stream line in
A downward turn is now discernible in transport energy consumption. The
national 2020 target for 20% biofuels in 2020 is met.
Changes in mobility bring business opportunities
DRIVE C2X is among the leading smart transport research projects, testing and
developing new smart transport services based on data transfer between
vehicles. The project, coordinated by Daimler, involves the participation of
European research institutes alongside a number of European car manufacturers.
The most significant input in the project is supplied by VTT.
The Smart Transport Corridor between Helsinki and St. Petersburg will also
create new services: for passengers, private motorists and public transport.
Development of the VEDIA Multi-Service concept, led by VTT and Vediafi Ltd,
will enhance the fluency of traffic across the border between Finland and
Russia, while improving transport safety and the travel experience. First to
be introduced will be real-time road weather and driving conditions
information service, an automatic system issuing bulletins and warnings on
traffic disruption, a real-time traffic and congestion information service and
a public transport information service.
One example of an ITS service offered by public authorities improving traffic
safety is the eCall in-vehicle emergency call service, based on the European
emergency number 112. VTT has been developing the eCall system in active
collaboration with the European Commission, Member States, the industry,
authorities, and other research institutes. The service will be introduced in
EU Member States no later than 2017, when it will become compulsory for all
new car and van models. In the event of a road accident, in-vehicle sensors
detect the accident, the eCall system opens an emergency call from the vehicle
to the nearest emergency response centre (ERC) and sends the minimum set of
data including the vehicle’s exact geographic location. After transmitting the
minimum set of data, the in-vehicle system opens a voice connection between
the vehicle and the emergency response centre.
Together towards the goal
The international market for intelligent transport devices has annual growth
estimated at about 20%. New smart transport services also give rise to new
business opportunities for Finnish enterprises. A current example is the
‘Finnish Road Weather Excellence’ project (Vaisala, Arctic Machine, Foreca,
Teconer, VTT), which has demonstrated the sizeable extra market potential of
high-level Finnish competence in road weather and winter maintenance.
Realising this potential requires our competence to embrace the packaging of
devices and technical systems in a way that provides more comprehensive
solutions for products and services.
“Smart transport is generating a lot of interest, but we need to wait a little
before we see the scale on which profitable business begins to materialise for
Finland. Companies will need to be capable of developing internationally
competitive products and services,” Key Account Manager Karri
Rantasila points out.
Cooperation among all the key actors in road transport is essential if
objectives are to be reached. To this end, the TransSmart spearhead programme,
launched and coordinated by VTT, brings all the main players to the same
table. The programme aims at a smooth, cost-efficient and environmentally
friendly transport system. Participants include the Ministry of Transport and
Communications, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry of
Finance, the Ministry of the Environment, the administrative branch of the
Ministry of Transport and Communications, as well as Tekes, the municipal
sector, research institutes and numerous companies.
Vision on the Web.
Nils-Olof Nylund and Karri Rantasila: Smart
Mobility Integrated with Low-carbon Mobility (pdf)
Leif Beilinson: The
Smartest System in the World (pdf)