Aiming for human-centred transport automation — action plan on legislation and measures sent for comments

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 9.12.2020 10.50
Press release
Automatic bus in traffic (Photo: Aleksandra Suzi, Shutterstock)
Automatic bus in traffic (Photo: Aleksandra Suzi, Shutterstock)

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has sent for comments a draft action plan on legislation and key measures supporting the development of automation in the desired direction. The main point is to develop and increase transport automation that meets human needs.

Finland's goal is to be a pioneer of transport automation. The plan is intended to ensure that legislation enables automation and its benefits - safe, efficient and low-emission transport.

The plan examines the current state of transport automation development from several different perspectives and outlines possible directions for development. The plan for the development and utilisation of transport automation sets three objectives encompassing all modes of transport:

1) Development and utilisation of transport automation so that the interest of individuals and societies lies at the core (human-centredness)

2) Improving the availability and exchange of transport-related information

3) Development of the regulatory framework on transport automation

Implementation of automation requires the development of legislation and the digital infrastructure

As a rule, the automation of all transport modes can be promoted through similar measures. These include, among others, promoting regulation, the digital and physical infrastructure and information exchange, supporting tests and pilots, and strengthening cooperation.

Legislative issues are central, as transport automation is based on the utilisation of data and artificial intelligence systems. Regulation concerning these should ensure the ethical development and utilisation of automation which, from the perspective of the traditional technical regulation of transport, is new.

The digital transport infrastructure must enable automated transport. The current level of infrastructure is sufficient for the present needs of digitalising transport, but wider utilisation of automation requires investment in next-generation 5G networks.

In road traffic, for example, the aim is that automated vehicles can be introduced as they are placed on the market and are allowed to be introduced in stages. This means, for example, that with advanced automatic vehicles it would initially be possible to drive on motorways in Finland in good conditions or that remote-controlled small buses could provide transport services.

Human-centredness of the Government Programme is also at the heart of transport automation development

The action plan on legislation and key measures of transport automation is based on Prime Minister Sanna Marin's Government Programmme, which aims to make Finland known as a technological pioneer in which the regulatory environment and administration enable digitalisation and sustainable development as well as an extensive experimental culture. Alongside achieving the goal, it is essential that the goal has been achieved ethically correctly, taking human needs and equality into account.

On the basis of the plan, the intention is for the Government to make a government resolution and to start work on possible needs for legislative amendments. The plan also serves in the preparation of a 12-year national transport system plan and in international work to exert influence.

What next?

Draft on transport automation action plan on legislation and key measures was sent for comments. The comment period ends on 15 January 2021.

Comments can be presented by all organisations and citizens at or by email to [email protected].

After the round for comments, preparation of the project will continue as civil service work. Possible review of legislation would start at the beginning of the year 2021.


Kirsi Miettinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Legislative Affairs, tel.+358 40 071 9629, Twitter: @KMiettinen

Saara Reinimäki, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 303 3065, Twitter: @saarare