Tuesday 17th September 2019

Cool IoT use cases: All weather, self-driving shuttle bus in Helsinki

Published on March 29th, 2019

Market overview

City centres are transitioning to transportation systems that result in better air quality, with less congestion and increased safety. This objective is being met by autonomous shuttles and other forms of shared driverless vehicles.

The problem

Autonomous vehicles in Finland must allow year-round autonomous driving regardless of the weather, which can be severe, as well as accurate positioning, navigation and obstacle detection.

The Players

Sensible 4, a Finnish company whose software platforms have been designed and tested for operation in harsh conditions: snow, slush or rain as well as the resulting poorly marked roads. MUJI, founded in Japan in 1980, created the vehicle’s soft rounded design as well as the functional aesthetic and user experience.

The solution

Autonomous, all-weather operation is enabled by Sensible 4’s use of optical radar known as LiDAR that helps self-driving cars detect the world around them. To achieve accurate positioning in all conditions, the company uses its proprietary 3D mapping and map-based localisation algorithms.

This enables Sensible 4 to generate a 3D map of the surroundings from 3D LiDAR data. In addition there is obstacle detection for all environments and because self-driving vehicles need to control traction, there is another module that takes measurements from all four wheels and employs motion-predictive control in order to anticipate the vehicle’s movement and then adjust the steering, acceleration and deceleration.

Business benefits

  • Range: 100+ km
  • Fast charging: optional wireless charging
  • Powertrain: 4WD
  • Capacity: 10 seats, 6 standing
  • Easy access for people with limited mobility.

The author is freelance technology writer, Bob Emmerson.

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