As Finland declared its wish to make car ownership pointless by year 2025, two self-driving buses have rolled out on to the public roads of Helsinki, alongside real traffic and commuters, in one of the first trials in the world. The buses will be “On Demand” and commuters would be able to call them via an app, which would also allow them to pay from their phone. The self driving busses are called Kutsuplus. Riding Kutsuplus costs more than bus fare, but less than an expensive Helsinki taxi. At current exchange rates, it’s a $4.75 fee plus 60 cents per kilometer — less than half the cost of cab fare.
It’s a pilot. Two buses arrived in July to Helsinki Hernesaari area. After that they moved to Espoo for August-September and finally will go to Tampere, ending operation before winter. The current strategy of the Finnish Ministry of Transportation and Communication’s allows testing of autonomous vehicles in the actual urban environments. This strategy gives Finland unique piloting possibilities, as legislation allows this type of piloting only in a few countries.