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Wednesday, 5.10.2022
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As well as exploring the use of an autonomous bus via a 1.8km pre-mapped route, the Estonian capital is also lowering speed limits on 80 streets to increase safety.

Tallinn is launching a free, self-driving bus service on the intra-block roads between Mustamäe tee, Tammsaare tee and Ehitajate tee.

In a separate announcement, the Estonian capital is also lowering speed limits to increase safety on 80 streets.

Autonomous bus

The pilot self-driving project, which will run until 14 September, is being carried out in cooperation with the Tallinn Transport Authority and Auve Tech OÜ.

The eight-seater self-driving bus travels on a pre-mapped 1.8km circuit between 10am and 4pm at approximately 25-minute intervals from Tuesday to Sunday. There is always a security person on the bus, monitoring the safety of each manoeuvre and will intervene if necessary.

The bus route starts from the area of the Tammsaare tee stop located on Mustamäe road and runs behind the buildings of Mustamäe tee 102 and Tammsaare tee 123 and 125, partially along the light traffic road in the direction of Mustamäe Day Centre and Ehitajate tee 86 and 88 and Tammsaare tee 141 and 137 in front of the buildings back to the original stop by Mustamäe tee.

“I am very happy that the self-driving bus project will reach the streets of Mustamäe, and hopefully the testing will go so well that the near future will already bring us a self-driving bus for a longer period,” said Lauri Laats, elder of the Mustamäe district. “The compactness of Mustamäe makes it possible to cover a very large number of city dwellers’ usual routes on a short route.

“The development of Mustamäe is closely related to the university and the research campus, which makes innovative experiments particularly relevant here.”

Reduced speed limits

The maximum speed allowed will be 30 km/h on a number of inner district roads and 40 km/h on some of the larger streets in the city centre.

Deputy mayor Andrei Novikov said a precondition for lowering the speed limit in the city centre is the reconfiguration of the traffic light programmes, but this may take longer than planned due to a shortage of specialists. “Lowering the speed limits without reconfiguring the traffic lights will not achieve the desired result,” he said.

Eliisa Puudersell, CEO of the non-governmental organisation, Elav Tänav, welcomed Tallinn’s decision to join the ranks of cities that are reducing the harmful effects of car traffic by lowering speeds. “Lowering the speed of car traffic will reduce the number and severity of accidents, free up space for other road users, alleviate Tallinn’s noise problem, and make driving more sustainable and smoother,” she said.

Tallinn is also installing 28 new road thresholds to calm traffic and reduce traffic accidents by installing some 30 additional speed bumps across the city.

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Quelle/Source: SmartCitiesWorld, 18.07.2022

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