Finnish Start-up Picks the Ultimate Winter Challenge: Making Autonomous Cars Snow Ready

For the autonomous mobility revolution to take place in the northern hemisphere, cars need to be able to navigate in harsh weather like heavy rain and snow. A Finnish start-up has developed a world-leading vehicle automation system serving just that need.

As far away as winter may seem right now, some of us are already grappling with the challenges of winter driving – especially in the case of autonomous cars. As the only country in Europe where it is legal to test autonomous cars in traffic, Finland is ahead when it comes to developing software for self-driving cars. In Espoo just outside Helsinki, the one-year-old start-up Sensible4 is testing their prototype of what they deem the world’s best vehicle automation system for difficult environments.

For self-driving cars to become truly reliable and autonomous they must be able to navigate in all kinds of weather and not just the ideal driving conditions the cars are usually tested in.

“We want to improve the efficiency and appeal of public transportation to convince more people on giving up private car ownership. So, we are developing autonomous driving systems for shared driverless vehicles like buses, rentals, and taxis,” says CEO of Sensible4 Harri Santamala.

He started testing the system in his home country partly because of the weather and his connection to Aalto University in Helsinki. Here, Sensible4 has been able to build on academic research stretching back to the eighties. So even though the start-up was officially founded in the spring of 2017, the preliminary work has been going on for years.

The self-driving software is innovative in the way that an algorithm takes over when snow hampers the sensors’ ability to map the road ahead. When snow, shadows, rain, or darkness causes the hardware to reach its limits the software takes over and predicts the road ahead from preset routes.

Autonomous cars can help the carbon-free economy

Sensible4 is part of the EIT Climate-KIC family. EIT Climate-KIC is working towards a climate-resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy. Autonomous cars – especially the ones promoting public transportation and shared vehicles – are part of that future.

To Sensible4, the EIT Climate-KIC start-up accelerator was the answer to the struggles, the young company dealt with before they were accepted into the programme.

“For a start-up, the short-term funding and building a customer pipeline are always a challenge. This is where EIT Climate-KIC has helped us a lot,” says Harri Santamala.

The accelerator has three stages and the possibility to get up to 95.000 Euro in equity-free funding.

EIT Climate-KIC offers a good mix of education that is relevant to startup, network opportunities, and naturally funding to help things getting started

says Harri Santamala.

EIT Climate-KIC is looking for the cream of the crop

The accelerator only accepts the best start-ups within greentech, cleantech and sustainability to take part in the three-stage accelerator, and right now you can become part of the family too.

Until 15 August the accelerator is accepting applications from Nordic startups that live up to the criteria like being ready for demonstration, having a scalable solution and a potential high climate impact or significant climate adaptation, and less than 18 months to the first major customer or investor.

The programme annually accepts 20 start-ups from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland and runs from September 2018 until March 2019. So far, more than 1000 start-ups have been supported by EIT Climate-KIC, and the accelerator has helped them raise more than 550 million Euro in funding.

My best tip for others who want to apply is to really consider their business model and how they can leverage the EIT Climate-KIC funding to go to the next steps.

says Harri Santamala.

About Sensible4

The Finnish start-up was founded in 2017 and has developed a SAE level 4 solution based on the integration of artificial intelligence and sensor fusion.

Sensible4 believes that in the future, urban mobility will consist of shared, autonomous mobility such as light electric vehicles.

The system uses continuously multiple sensor modalities, visible light, invisible light, and different frequencies of radio signals to identify the objects around the vehicle.

The Sensible4-prototype is mounted on a Renault Twizy. The vehicle is equipped with a comprehensive sensor setup. 3D-lidars in both the front and rear gives a 360-degree vision around the vehicle up to 150 meters. Long and short-range radars around the vehicle detect static and mobile obstacles from 0 to 200 meters, and a camera setup of six cameras detect and recognize objects in all conditions.

 
Location
Finland
Articles you may be interested in
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Spring arrivals of the Nordic Accelerator

On 5-6 March we hosted our biannual event the...

Spring arrivals of the Nordic Accelerator
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Transparency as the new norm – CarbonCloud opens doors to an impact-driven f...

Eating and drinking is part of our everyday life....

Transparency as the new norm – CarbonCloud opens doors to an impact-driven food industry
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Danish start-up challenge makes the fishing industry local again

The Danish start-up company Blue Lobster challenges the industrialized...

Danish start-up challenge makes the fishing industry local again
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
C40 City Solutions Platform – Join the community

Photo: SkipperPhotography Call for solution providers to join our...

C40 City Solutions Platform – Join the community
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Mimbly – the journey from early stage idea to successful start-up

Being part of a start-up is one hell of...

Mimbly – the journey from early stage idea to successful start-up
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Helsinki launches Climate Watch to track city’s emission reductions

In their aim to become carbon neutral by 2035,...

Helsinki launches Climate Watch to track city’s emission reductions
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Open Innovation Day on power peak shaving in Malmö

As partners in the EU Interreg-project Smart Cities Accelerator,...

Open Innovation Day on power peak shaving in Malmö
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Heliac challenges everything we know about energy

Photo: Gideon Caringal Common belief suggests that entrepreneurs are...

Heliac challenges everything we know about energy
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Towards systemic change in our food systems

How can we shift the habits, production, metrics and...

Towards systemic change in our food systems
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
4MOSST wins Copenhagen Open Innovation Call with their moss-covered walls

The winner of the Open Innovation Call was announced...

4MOSST wins Copenhagen Open Innovation Call with their moss-covered walls
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Eight Nordic cities hosting Climathons in 2019

On 25 October, cities around the world are participating...

Eight Nordic cities hosting Climathons in 2019
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Open Innovation Call: Exploring power peak shaving as enabler for resilient ne...

For decades the focus in energy system transformation has...

Open Innovation Call: Exploring power peak shaving as enabler for resilient neighbourhoods
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Mitigating the impacts of Arctic warming

At this year’s Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík, Iceland,...

Mitigating the impacts of Arctic warming
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
EIT Climate-KIC will play a prominent role at the C40 World Mayors Summit in C...

Climate change and the booming urban population pose major...

EIT Climate-KIC will play a prominent role at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, 9-12 October 2019
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Winners of the Open Innovation Call in NYC and finalists of Call in CPH announ...

With the UN Climate Action Summit as backdrop, New...

Winners of the Open Innovation Call in NYC and finalists of Call in CPH announced
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Hacking the way to smart energy solutions

On 29 September 2019, students, young professionals and entrepreneurs...

Hacking the way to smart energy solutions
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Too good to go – 10+2 start-ups make it into the Nordic Accelerator

5-6 September marked the 4th edition of our biannual...

Too good to go – 10+2 start-ups make it into the Nordic Accelerator
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
The wind of change blowing in Lund

During the second round of the EIT Climate-KIC Journey...

The wind of change blowing in Lund
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Six Circularity City award finalists presenting their circular products at Nor...

Six finalists have been invited to showcase their circular...

Six Circularity City award finalists presenting their circular products at NordBAU
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Open Innovation Call targeting air quality and urban heat island effect launch...

The City of Copenhagen’s department Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions within...

Open Innovation Call targeting air quality and urban heat island effect launched in Copenhagen
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
The Northern Path – Journey summer school exploring Finland

A new set of change makers set out on...

The Northern Path – Journey summer school exploring Finland
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
First EIT Climate-KIC Journey Community Summit held in Hamburg

The first ever EIT Climate-KIC Journey Community Summit was...

First EIT Climate-KIC Journey Community Summit held in Hamburg
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Vision Journey embarking on their path in Copenhagen

How can young students and professionals be part of...

Vision Journey embarking on their path in Copenhagen
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Circularity City Product Award competition launch

We are happy to announce the launch of the...

Circularity City Product Award competition launch
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Climbing high in Copenhagen

Climbing a 50-meter-high still-operational wind turbine is not something...

Climbing high in Copenhagen
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
WCEF 2019: The challenges and potential of circular procurement in cities

The increasing population growth and urbanisation intensifies the pressure...

WCEF 2019: The challenges and potential of circular procurement in cities
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Female entrepreneurs and start-ups take the stage in Bornholm

Male entrepreneurs outnumber female entrepreneurs by a significant amount....

Female entrepreneurs and start-ups take the stage in Bornholm
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Unlocking the Alternative Protein Market at EAT Forum

EAT-Forum 2019 – Climate-KIC and Forum for the Future...

Unlocking the Alternative Protein Market at EAT Forum
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
New Open Innovation Call targeting air quality and urban heat island effect la...

EIT Climate-KIC in collaboration with The Mayor’s Office of...

New Open Innovation Call targeting air quality and urban heat island effect launched in New York City
CLIMATE-KIC NORDIC NEWS
Nordic Master Class visits the first climate resilient neighbourhood in Copenh...

Cities play a decisive role in accelerating climate adaptation...

Nordic Master Class visits the first climate resilient neighbourhood in Copenhagen