Imagine a future Tallinn with buses that can operate without drivers, reducing traffic jams and city emissions. This vision could soon be a reality, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Auve Tech. In this article, the company’s CEO, Kaarel Variksaar, discusses how autonomous transport might reshape urban landscapes and the quality of life.
The challenge for the automotive industry
“If every family across the globe aspired to own as many cars as the average Estonian, the number of cars would need to triple. This means the automotive industry would need to produce almost three billion more cars,” says Variksaar. To reduce car dependency, solutions are needed matching the convenience of owning a personal vehicle parked right outside your home. However, vehicles that clog up roads like traditional cars are not a viable solution. Walking and cycling, on the other hand, prove inconvenient during a significant part of the year in the Nordic climate, compared to other parts of the world.
Addressing emissions and traffic congestion
As a potential solution to this growing challenge, Auve Tech began developing autonomous shuttles in 2018. Their aim is to offer a compelling alternative to personal vehicles, helping to reduce emissions and traffic jams in cities. Variksaar elaborates, “While some companies are converting regular cars into autonomous vehicles, we have developed a vehicle specifically designed to augment public transport, making it accessible to people with mobility limitations.”
Tackling labour shortages
“The current level of autonomy already significantly reduces the number of traffic accidents, but looking at global demographic trends, it is evident that autonomy in transport is imperative for other reasons. An ageing society inevitably exacerbates the shortage of public transport drivers. However, integrating our vehicles into the existing public transport network requires a comprehensive overhaul: modifications to routes, stops, schedules and so on,” explains Variksaar. He adds, “A complete replacement of traditional public transport isn’t expected anytime soon. Instead, we’re more likely to see a coexistence of driver-operated and driverless vehicles on the roads.”
Tallinn could lead in innovation
Variksaar believes that the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles would bring about numerous benefits to cities. “The mass adoption of autonomous vehicles would undoubtedly be one of the region’s most innovative decisions, attracting other smart city transport solutions and businesses offering related services,” he notes. According to Variksaar, Tallinn has excellent opportunities to implement this solution: “Estonia in general is an attractive place to start and expand a business. Moreover, Tallinn already enjoys strong ties with clients, partners and local green technology companies.”
Explore Auve Tech’s vehicles at NEXPO
Auve Tech will be present at the GreenTech Week taking place in Tallinn from 13 to 17 November as part of the NEXPO green technology fair. “We’ve participated in many international fairs this year, but NEXPO is the only Estonian event we seriously considered. Its potential for networking and finding clients and partners in our sector rivals that of international events,” Variksaar affirms.
Visitors to NEXPO will have the opportunity to interact with three Auve Tech’s self-driving vehicles, one of which will operate nearby, allowing guests to experience the company’s cutting-edge technology and vision for future urban transport. For a closer look at the future of autonomous transport, Variksaar recommends attending the English-language panel discussion titled “Future of Urban Commuting by Auve Tech” at the NEXPO stage on 14 November.
Variksaar concludes, “We’ve invited our current and potential partners to NEXPO, who in turn will introduce us to new contacts. We eagerly anticipate in-depth discussions and new partnerships that will drive technological and business development. All companies passionate about sustainable development and making the world a better place should make their way to NEXPO.”