Sensible self-driving cars go to the extremes of the Arctic Circle

A long-term self-driving service has been launched north of the Arctic Circle to put an all-weather autonomous driving system to the test, while providing a transport link to a local hospital.

The pilot project in Norway will see two electric Toyota Proace vehicles, equipped with autonomous driving software, operate a 3.6km route in the town of Bodø.

Bodø has a subpolar climate with challenging weather conditions that change dramatically throughout the year, with an annual mix of rain, wind, snow, daylight hours and varying temperature.

“Bodø is known for experiencing four seasons in one day, it’s really exciting to see how the technology behind the autonomous shuttles will work in such a challenging climate,” said Smarter Transport Bodø project manager Rune Eiterjord.

Eiterjord added that if the self-driving vehicles can operate in Bodø, they will be able to work “anywhere in the world”.