A basic ingredient of any successful economy is a well-functioning transportation network – the roads, railways, ferries, border crossings and public services necessary for the efficient flow of people and goods. In recent years, governments and industries have begun to improve these networks using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) – advanced applications and innovative services that help users get the most out of their infrastructure.
Like many developed nations, Estonia has introduced a number of ITS solutions designed to make travel safer and logistics more convenient. For example, in March 2017, Estonia made it legal to test self-driven vehicles on all national and local roads in the country. Work is underway to create a full legal and cyber-risk management framework for using fully autonomous vehicles in regular road and traffic conditions.
The government’s view is that self-driven vehicles are more than just cars with no hands on the wheel, but rather a disruptive force for tens if not hundreds of services both in the private and public sector. This is the concept for providing new, more efficient, convenient and sustainable public services across Estonia.
The aim is to reorganise the public transportation system using self-driven vehicles. The government has adopted a plan to create a fleet management system, integrating such vehicles into the public transport system with journey planning and call-to-order bus stops. Similarly, the government will launch pilots in other public service areas to seek new models of public service delivery based on autonomous mobility. Visit Intelligent Transportation Systems Estonia website for more information.
Mobile Parking is a convenient system that can be used in privately owned and public parking facilities in Estonia allowing drivers to pay for parking using their mobile phones. The system can be used manually through a downloadable app, but can also be set up automatically so that your phone does everything for you.
If global positioning is active in the settings of your phone, the parking app will display the two closest parking zones on its front page. Manually commencing and terminating your parking session is fast and you can also see an overview of your parking sessions for the last six months.
The new fully automated solution makes parking even easier. This means that your parking session will begin as soon as the ignition is turned off, and ends when you re-start your car. To use automatic parking you have to install the correct app on your smartphone, and pair your car and smartphone using bluetooth.
The app will choose the right parking zone when parking in a paid parking area and will begin and end payment independently. You will receive a notification in the app regarding the start and end of your parking session. At the end of the month, the cost of the parking will be added to the driver’s mobile phone bill.
Read more about Mobile Parking here.
The border queue management service is an ICT-based tool that lets car and truck drivers reserve time slots for passing through border checkpoints, thereby eliminating the need for physical queues. Developed by the Estonian company GoSwift as part of a public-private partnership, the service is used at all three checkpoints on Estonia’s border with Russia.
Prior to the system’s introduction in 2011, cars and trucks were processed on a first-come first-served basis, which forced drivers to queue for hours or sometimes days near the border. The situation was particularly difficult for truck drivers as it made them vulnerable to fatigue and crime.
Making the queues virtual has meant that drivers arrive at the checkpoint at their appointed times and are processed quickly, with waiting times now averaging as little as 30 minutes. In addition to drastically improving the lives of drivers, the change has allowed logistics companies to save millions of euros through better planning.
Visit the Estonian Border Queue Management portal.
These intelligent transport solutions are provided by the following Estonian companies:
The goal of e-Estonia Briefing Centre is to inspire global policy makers, political leaders, corporate executives, investors and international media with the success story of e-Estonia and build links to leading IT service providers.