E8 - Aurora

Under construction

Arctic testing ecosystem for intelligent transport and automated driving is being built in Finnish Lapland. The improvement of highway E8 is underway to meet the requirements of the public test area.


E8 improvement, project manager

Keijo Heikkilä

  • firstname.lastname@liikennevirasto.fi

Aurora, Project manager

Alina Koskela

  • firstname.lastname@liikennevirasto.fi

Fell Lapland Business Services, CEO

Reija Viinanen

  • firstname.lastname@tunturilappi.fi

See also

E8 - Aurora

Intelligent transport is not just for the good days! The Aurora test ecosystem is designed for verifying and validating new ITS solutions and innovations in real extreme weather conditions. Situated above the Arctic circle, Aurora offers a unique test location for validation, marketing and assessment of impacts and performances of intelligent transport automation.

Lapland is known for its unique know-how in technolgies dealing with snow, ice and cold. Fell Lapland offers existing winter testing infrastructure with a service offering and years of first-hand experience. Due to its unique location, the Aurora test ecosystem enables testing in extreme winter conditions of:

  • 186 days long winter season (over 6 months)
  •  Polar night lasting for 25 days
  •  116 days below -10oC
  •  51 days below -20oC
  •  9 days below -30oC
  •  snow thickness between 0,5 - 1 m.

Aurora focuses on four main areas:

1. Arctic testing for intelligent transport automation

Automation and robotisation of the transport sector are ongoing global trends. For the commercial use of automated vehicles new solutions and innovations need to be tested and verified in varying weather conditions including also extreme weather cases.

In order to move from autonomous driving to snowtonomous driving, the Aurora test ecosystem offers two-level testing facilities. On the first level it is possible to test on safe and secured tracks closed from traffic and suitable even for early phase prototype testing. In the second stage, tests can be carried out also among other traffic as current Finnish legislation already facilitates advanced automation on public roads. More information about automated vehicle trials on Finnish public roads can be found here: http://www.trafi.fi/en/road/automated_vehicle_trials

2. Digital transport infrastructure and connected cars

The Aurora test ecosystem enables testing of various digital transport infrastructure (DTI) and connected cars initiatives. DTI and connected cars allow transport-related message delivery between the road users, the service providers and the authorities in a standard telecom netwrok. In the first stage safety-related information services are tested in the region.

The reindeer warning pilot project started in June 2016. A-year-long pilot is aiming at reducing collisions with reindeers and the long term target is to cut the collisions in to half by 2020. Annually around 4000 reindeer crashes occur in Finland. With the help of smartphone applications professional drivers and regular road users will be able to send reindeer warnings to other road users in case they observe a reindeer on the road. Other road users entering the same geo-zone will recieve a notification of reindeers being spotted on the road. The project is implemented in cooperation with the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Lapland, the Finnish Transport Agency, the Reindeer Herders' Association, Paikkatieto Online Oy, HERE and VTraffic Mediamobile.   

More information about the reindeer warning pilot can be found here (in Finnish):


3. Intelligent infrastructure asset management

Intelligent transport automation provides new opportunities and challenges for infrastructure asset management. The Aurora test ecosystem is open for testing new and innovative technologies and solutions for road maintenance and asset management.

4. Mobility as a Service

The Aurora test ecosystem is a test bed for future mobility solutions such as Mobility as a Service in which all users' major transport needs are met over one interface and are offered by a service provider.

The Ylläs Mobility as s Service pilot project (YlläsMaaS) aims at flexible and affordable mobility services for tourist and locals without car dependency in the Ylläs area. The first stage of the two-staged pilot was completed in spring 2016 and second stage is due to start during winter season 2016 - 2017. During the first stage mobility services where offered via Ylläs Around application powered by Sonera. The pilot project is implemented in cooperation with the Finnish Transport Agency, the Municipality of Kolari, the Ylläs Travel Association and Sonera.

More information about the YlläsMaaS pilot project can be found here:


Rethink sandbox. Welcome to SNOWBOX.

Advantages of the Aurora test ecosystem include:

  • Precise mobile positioning
  • Extensive telecommunications network
  • Intelligent highway E8 with ITS-equipped test sections
  • Network of more than 20 private and public sector members
  • Project management services