MINTC to launch an experiment that would allow for robotic cars

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 21.5.2014 12.54
Press release

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is preparing an amendment to the Road Traffic Act that would allow for driverless robotic cars to drive within a restricted area on public roads. The act in question would constitute experimental legislation that would be in force for five years starting at the beginning of 2015.

Robotic cars could be tested, subject to a permit, in areas defined by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency. The testing of robotic cars in public road traffic would be possible within limited time periods and in predetermined areas.

'Robotisation is growing into a significant force of transition in transport. Finland can benefit from being part of the development from an early stage. With the experiment, we can gain information on judicial issues and matters related to road safety that must be taken into account when preparing possible permanent legislation on the topic,' says Minister of Transport and Local Government Henna Virkkunen.

The development of technical features in vehicles to assist the driver is currently very active. Major car manufacturers in Europe are currently implementing significant projects associated with the automation of vehicles. The automation of vehicles is predicted to have a significant impact in the areas of both commerce and safety. The long-term objective of the automation development is a car that would operate entirely driverless.

With the new legislation, the development and experimental projects currently active in Europe can be implemented in road traffic in Finland. Similarly, the Google driverless car, which has been in active use in the US for a long time already, can also be utilised in Finland.

Further information:

Ms Laura Rissanen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2325
Mr Kimmo Kiiski, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2304