The Nordic+ webinar "A reality check on the future of autonomous vehicles" - a recap

Nordic+ hosted the webinar “A reality check on the future of autonomous vehicles” on Wednesday 29th of November 2023. The webinar explored the landscape of autonomous vehicles, infrastructure, data sharing, and laws and regulations in the Nordic region. During this insightful session, experts from Nordic+ countries provided a comprehensive overview of the current state and prospects for autonomous vehicles, infrastructure, data sharing, and legal frameworks in the Nordics. The discussions delved into the advances, challenges, and regulatory developments shaping the autonomous vehicle landscape both now and in the future.

Jenny Simonsen from ITS Norway kicked of the webinar with a brief introduction of Nordic+ and our purpose, vision, mission, and values.
Jenny Simonsen, ITS Norway – Presentation

Siri Vasshaug from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration was the first one in line with “Preparing for Automated Transport in Norway.” She highlighted potential positive effects of automated transport in Norway, emphasizing the importance and purpose of regulations for testing self-driving vehicles. Siri provided insights into Norway’s positive developments, presenting figures on applications, approved applications, requests for access, and the number of pilots, tests, and accidents so far. Looking ahead, she outlined touchpoints, necessities, and barriers, stressing the collaborative efforts needed for sustainable solutions through dialogue, input, and cooperation, in addition to defining barriers – and making though discussions along the way.
Siri Vasshaug, Norwegian Public Roads Administration – Presentation

Reijo Jälkö of Traficom continued with the presentation “Testing automated vehicles in Finland – challenges and opportunities?”. He presented the complexities of the application process for test plate certification, introduced a new national vehicle category – “light electronic transport device,” and touched upon exemption permits for vehicles intended for public transportation. Reijo concluded with some open questions, encouraging engaging discussions among the audience.
Reijo Jälkö, Traficom – Presentation

Christian Bering Pedersen from Holo illustrated how Holo implements and operates autonomous software in various segments, showcasing the Grorud project throughout the presentation. Christian shared Holo’s positive history and experience with the Norwegian authorities, highlighting successful dialogue-based interactions, allowing for guidance, negotiation, and faster resolutions. This Norwegian approach is effective – it has made the project the first in Europe, surpassing efforts to get a permit in Germany. Christian concluded by emphasizing the importance of finding the right balance between different considerations – the balance between technology, approvals, and use cases – for future projects.
Christian Bering Pedersen, Holo – Presentation

Pia Wijk from Einride, in the presentation “Electrification and Automation of the Transport Sector,” showed Einride’s perspective on the electrification and automation of heavy vehicles. She outlined the main challenges and presented Einride’s five key components of their solution to the challenge. Pia provided an overview of Einride’s long-term plan for electrification and automation, showcasing operational autonomous capabilities in fenced areas and nearby routes, in addition to some that are in process. She emphasized the need for projects and deployments demonstrating real benefits of the technology in useful cases, understanding the different use cases, creating a flexible and harmonized system, and having a harmonized view and regulatory framework for the role of a remote operator and a remote operation.
Pia Wijk, Einride – Presentation

Finally, Claes Kanold of Ruter delivered an intriguing talk titled “Shared autonomous vehicles – sustainable freedom of movement.” He began by stating that private cars are designed to be too attractive and introduced Ruter’s new term “shared autonomous vehicles.” The study “The Oslo Study” presented four scenarios, with the “shared, integrated public transport” scenario showing a fleet size reduction of 93%. The idea is that these vehicles will be on demand 24/7, point-to-point, and integrated with public transport. With the opportunity for Oslo to go from 600 000 private vehicles to 30 000 shared autonomous vehicles and increase the average occupancy per car from 1.14 to 1.62. The Grorud pilot concept in Oslo, Norway, was showcased as a practical example. Ruter’s ultimate goal is to create a competitive alternative to the private vehicle journey and complement existing public transport, which will ultimately lead to a more efficient system, with reduced congestion, reduction in the need for parking spots, and reduce traffic and road incidents – and increase freedom of movement.
Claes Kanold, Ruter – Presentation

The webinar featured lively discussions and networking, with several good questions from the audience.

Nordic+ wants to thank all viewers and contributors for their contribution to the Nordic+ ecosystem! Remember, if you have inputs or wants for a webinar, do not hasitate to reach out to us, and we will see what we can do about it.
We look forward to the next webinar – follow all our events here!