Group picture of RECIPROCITY project event in Helsinki.
The Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council hosted the RECIPROCITY project’s second Mobility Mission Event in Helsinki from 5 to 7 October 2022. More than forty participants from all over Europe gathered to learn about Finnish smart and sustainable mobility solutions and projects that could be replicated in their home cities.
The Mobility Mission Event was diverse and replete with information, starting with the participants gathering in the Urban Environment Building of the City of Helsinki. The welcoming words were given by the RECIPROCITY project coordinator Ms Anne Häner from Cluster Mobility & Logistics, R-Tech GmbH, Germany, and Mr Petri Suominen, Transport Planning Manager at the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, who gave a brief overview of the regional planning in Helsinki-Uusimaa.
Next was Ms Pihla Kuokkanen, Resource Planning Unit Manager from the City of Helsinki, who gave an insight into the well-functioning city transport system. She was followed by Mr Mikko Lehtonen, Project Manager at the City of Helsinki, presenting a review of the city’s ITS Development Program focusing on the collection and utilization of traffic data, on digital transport management, and the role of the city in the new services and transport automation.
In the afternoon, the participants moved to the Open Innovation House at Aalto University in Espoo, where Mr Milos Mladenovic, Assistant Professor of Spatial Planning and Transport Engineering, introduced the participants with smart mobility solutions in the campus area. Afterwards, the pitches of five Aalto University spin-off companies were given; these are GIM Robotics, PARKZIA, AIVisionEye, Conveqs and Maptionnaire.
The participants learned about a solution that is infrastructure-free and all-weather for indoor and outdoor 3D localization of machines (GIM Robotics) and about wireless charging of autonomous movable robots while in moving (PARKZIA), along with distance monitoring of cleanliness and air quality in shared vehicles and public transport (AlVisionEye). Digital traffic twin (Conveqs) and a digital platform that is a tool for the cities to connect with its citizens and learn their opinion about, for instance, their mobility preferences (Maptionnaire) were also presented.
On the second day, a glimpse in smart mobility solutions was provided by Mr Sami Sahala, Senior Smart Mobility Expert of Forum Virium Helsinki, the City of Helsinki’s innovation company facilitating start-ups and piloting new mobility services and technologies. Mr Juho Kostiainen from the City of Helsinki then introduced the Mobility Lab Helsinki, a testbed for smart mobility innovations, and gave an overview of the topical projects, like traffic radars, with open APIs installed in the Jätkäsaari district.
Mr Marcus Nordström from MarshallAI told how CO2 emissions are reduced by optimizing traffic lights, thus avoiding unnecessary stops of the vehicles. Mr Atte Riihelä, Senior Specialist at the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications talked about an open data platform that also comprises mobility data. The topic for Ms Renske Martijnse-Hartikka, Project Manager at the Forum Virium Helsinki, was autonomous vehicles in the city streets.
Mr Aaron Koskela, Mobility Digital Twin Expert and Mr Raimo Tengvall, Project Manager at the Forum Virium Helsinki shared information about the Digital Twin Project for Mobility. Lastly, Mr Harri Miinin Project Manager from the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences introduced its Smarter Mobility Innovation Hub and its Smart Countryside Mobility project. In the late afternoon, the participants headed to a short site visit on the seashore to see Callboats – electric on-demand boats – in operation.
On the last day, the hosts of the Helsinki Mobility Mission Event, Mr Sakari Saarinen, Senior Adviser and Research Manager, Mr Ari Lainevuo welcomed the participants at the office of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, where Mr Jussi Knuuttila, who is an Adviser regarding International Affairs, introduced the Helsinki Smart Region platform. He was followed by Mr Harri Paloheimo from CoReorient, presenting the P2P platform for sharing or exchanging consumer goods, tasks and services.
The last session of the event was a capacity building workshop, in which the participants exchanged opinions on the Helsinki cases that could be replicated in their home cities, and had more one-to-one discussions with start-ups and stakeholders, as well.