Sohjoa Last Mile: Developing autonomous mobility requires attention and action now
The EU-funded Sohjoa Last Mile project has recently released a video and "key messages" to support the deployment and development of shared autonomous public transport services in Europe. The key messages include policy recommendations for the international, European, and national levels.
Supported by the EU's Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme, the project seeks to raise awareness of EU and national regulations barriers and enhance the European market for mobility services. The city of Helsinki as well as POLIS member Tallinn are involved in the project as pilot cities, along with other local and regional authorities in Estonia, Latvia, Norway and Poland.
The consortium is now calling for urgent action to support and strengthen the development of autonomous mobility in Europe, stating the need to establish new regulatory and legislative changes at the EU level and national regulations to keep supporting the innovation and growth of the sector.
As part of these efforts and encouraging further advocacy, some key messages and a video have been created within the Sohjoa Last Mile project. "Investing in autonomous mobility means opting for more efficient, environmentally friendly, and safer public transportation, as well as securing the competitiveness of the EU in autonomous mobility. The transformation is inevitable, and the time to invest is now", says the video.
The documents propose several policy recommendations, including:
- Encourage revision of pertinent regulations in the UNECE rules and the Vienna Convention on road traffic so that driverless vehicles are not forbidden under international law.
- Promote international rules on liability.
- Designate a harmonized checklist that depicts all potential legal issues related to the approval of an automated vehicle and guidelines to overcome them.
- Promote mutual recognition of national permits in different EU countries.
- Encourage road traffic law modifications to allow the public use of entirely autonomous vehicles in public transport.
- Promote a more flexible legal framework.
To learn more about Sohjoa Last Mile, visit the project website.