Autonomous driving on intelligent road at Europe’s edge

picture © Finnish Geospatial Research Institute

An ESA-supported effort put an intelligent road up in Finnish Lapland through its paces, assessing its suitability for testing autonomous vehicles in some of Europe’s most challenging driving conditions.

‘If autonomous vehicles can drive well here, they can drive almost anywhere.’ says Sarang Thombre of the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, managing the Arctic-PNT project. ‘Our project aimed at ensuring in particular that the precise positioning required by autonomous systems was available here, to establish this test site is indeed somewhere that driverless vehicle manufacturers should employ for testing. We carried out experiments with a robotic car over two successive seasons to show that the necessary precise positioning, down to 20 cm, is indeed accessible.’