The intelligent road Aurora, completed in the autumn of 2017, offers the opportunity to test intelligent transport systems and proactive road condition management by providing the supporting physical infrastructure and data services.
The 10-kilometre intelligent road section (Pahtonen–Puthaanranta) located on Main Road 21 offers the opportunities for testing automated vehicles and their related technologies in challenging road and weather conditions. The road is equipped to support the technical performance of the vehicles. (Detailed map of the equipment of the intelligent road )
“Now we can see how automated driving affects the road network and the demands this places on winter road maintenance. The authorities, especially those which plan, build and maintain the road network, are now offered the opportunity to gain useful information about road maintenance and management”, says Reija Viinanen, Director of Aurora Collaboration.
In addition to the authorities, clients also benefit from this opportunity: “The road users’ services, which are based on real-time data gained about the road and road conditions, form the cornerstones of intelligent transport. Our objective is safe and smooth transport”, says Viinanen.
The intelligent road Aurora is an open testing platform
The actors have open access to data collected about the road and its surroundings through the Finnish Transport Agency’s service, Digitraffic. Testing may include, for example, locating vehicles in situations where the road is covered by snow and ice. “Earlier this year, field tests on accumulated location data were launched in both the Finnish Transport Agency's and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency’s own long-term research projects”, says Viinanen.
“Finland now has the opportunity to be profiled as a pioneer in the testing of automated winter driving. Research on road condition management and proactive winter road maintenance plays an important role. Moreover, the test road project, and how its results are utilised, form a vital part of the action plan to reduce the maintenance backlog of transport infrastructure”, says Antti Vehviläinen, General Director of the Finnish Transport Agency.
Internationally unique test section
The intelligent road is part of the Aurora Borealis Corridor, which starts in Kolari, Finland and ends in Tromsø, Norway. “The smart transport corridor between Finland and Norway is one of the testing areas for automated driving for connected and automated vehicles that has been recognised by the European Commission”, says Steve Phillips, Secretary-General of the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR).
An important collaboration partner in the Aurora project is the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, which is building its own intelligent road section from the Kilpisjärvi border area towards Skibotn Valley. “We have the Nordic challenging transport conditions in common, for which we need new and smarter solutions. The cooperation especially focuses on cross-border solutions and actions promoting the safety of heavy-duty vehicles”, says Reija Viinanen.
Director of Aurora Collaboration, Reija Viinanen, phone + 358 400 423 370
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