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The SOHJOA project introduced the first autonomous buses that operate with other traffic on Finnish roads. The buses were offered as innovation platforms to companies for piloting smart mobility products and services. The SOHJOA project, which was also nominated for the European Commission’s RegioStars Awards, has been the subject of considerable interest worldwide.

Results of the SOHJOA project

  • SOHJOA created a completely new field of mobility in Finland and served to build up related know-how and networks. The project also gave rise to two new start-ups that continue developing the technology further.
  • The autonomous buses were piloted in Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere and Vantaa. The SOHJOA project provided the cities with tools and know-how for planning the public transport solutions of the future, now that there is one more mode of transport to consider.
  • A number of the companies involved in the project, particularly smaller ones, tested their services and products on the innovation platform. They will continue to be part of the project network, which enables them to continue refining their products and services in the future. These companies now have a clear picture of the current state and future possibilities of autonomous mobility.
  • The project provided researchers with unique measurement data. The project gave them the opportunity to carry out some of the first user based studies on autonomous vehicles and collect simulation data on the vehicles’ impact on traffic flow using methods such as laser scanning. As a result, the participating universities were able to make name for themselves as notable experts in the field, both in Europe and globally.
  • Metropolia University of Applied Sciences established a new Smart Mobility Innovation Hub, which will continue to work on the following smart mobility projects: Sohjoa Baltic, Helsinki Robobusline (part of the mySmartLife project), FABULOSRobusta and the 6Aika project The Last Mile. Sohjoa Baltic is a direct follow-up to the SOHJOA project, while the other projects are based on the know-how and networks established in the SOHJOA project.

Salonen, Arto O. & Haavisto, Noora (2019). Towards autonomous transportation. Passengers’ experiences, perceptions and feelings in a driverless shuttle bus in Finland.


The aim of the SOHJOA project was to utilise an enterprise- and area-based approach to create new innovations and understanding related to the use of autonomous minibuses in Last Mile transportation for the benefit of both the public sector and companies specialising in IoT and transport services. The project allowed participants, particularly innovation-focused transport companies, to increase their practical competence in utilising autonomous vehicles. The project was conducted by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Tampere University of Technology, Aalto University, Forum Virium Helsinki and the National Land Survey of Finland. The project ran from 1 June 2016 to 31 May 2018 and had a budget of EUR 559,597.

Further information:
Oscar Nissin
Project Manager
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
tel. +358 (0)40 674 8224