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Public autonomous transport is designed on user experience in the Baltics

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

Autonomous solutions for transportation are emerging worldwide, and one of the sectors that will benefit the most from these solutions is the urban public transport by shifting toward the new paradigm of Mobility as a Service (MaaS), particularly in the case of first-last mile transportation. Densely populated areas cannot afford an increase in individual transportation due to space limitation, congestion, and pollution.

Working towards more effective and inclusive mobility in public areas, our research compares user experiences of autonomous public transport across Baltic countries, with the final goal of gaining an increased insight into public needs, and thus create the autonomous transport of the future based on the user perspective.

User experience was evaluated through questionnaires gathered along pilot projects implementing a public transportation line, using an automated electric minibus between 2018 and 2019. To have sufficient diversity in the data, the pilot projects were implemented in several cities in the Baltic Sea Area. The data analysed in this paper specifically refer to the cities of Helsinki (Finland), Tallinn (Estonia), Kongsberg (Norway), and Gdańsk (Poland).

Across all cities, passengers provided remarkably positive feedback regarding personal security and safety onboard.

The overall feedback, which was very positive in general, showed statistically significant differences across the groups of cities (Kongsberg, Helsinki, Tallinn and Gdansk), partially explicable by the differences in the route design. In addition, across all cities and feedback topics, males gave a lower score compared to females.

The overall rating suggests that there is a demand for future last-mile automated services that could be integrated with the MaaS concept, although demand changes according to socio-economic and location-based conditions across different countries.

Read the full research paper:

M. Bellone, A. Ismailogullari, T. Kantala, S. Mäkinen, R.M. Soe and M. Åman Kyyrö - "A cross-country comparison of user experience of public autonomous transport" Eur. Transp. Res. Rev. 13, 19 (2021). [web] [pdf]


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