Forum Virium Helsinki

Smart City challenge

This challenge is part of the urban environment and transport service transformation. It has impacts on energy efficiency as well.

Drones offer a lot of interesting opportunities – not only for cargo and transport business, but also for maintenance and research needs. And there are many questions to discuss.

The urban environment, as we know it today, will change when flying vehicles will be part of the dynamic urban life. What changes should be done in the existing built infrastructure? How should the buildings look like to enable safe last mile drone service? What do we have to regulate, how could we support the growing business better?

We invite you to discuss the urban future where air is a new layer of traffic and transport.

Existing solutions: 

Tests and pilots with drones have been going on for a while already. The objective of the ‘Carbon neutral drone service solutions in Southern Finland’ project is to pilot and promote carbon neutral and emissions-free drone services for the purposes of logistics, remote security, and environmental control, and develop them into new forms of business to replace combustion engine forms of mobility and transport.

The project develops innovative drone service solutions with the help of co-creation workshops and new operating methods that put less of a strain on the environment to promote carbon neutrality and the use of drones in new applications.

Along with logistics solutions, the project tests remote monitoring and security solutions as well as long-distance logistics transport. The aim is to complete long-distance test flights beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) and even carry out automatic flights, if possible.

At the same time Wing, the Alphabet-owned drone startup, has launched a delivery service in Finland’s capital Helsinki on last June. The trial has been making deliveries to residents in the city’s Vuosaari district, which Wing notes is the capital’s most populous area. The service offers products from two shops: the supermarket Herkku Food Market and local restaurant Cafe Monami.

Aerial footage during different kinds of events has been one clear use case for drones.

Kerkko Vanhanen
Programme Director
Forum Virium Helsinki
What is the city looking for?

In this round table challenge we want to

  • Find the right, essential questions to be solved,
  • Benchmark the latest innovations and projects going on elsewhere,
  • Recognize new use cases for drone services,
  • Find out interesting technological solutions and solution providers, which could lead to demo projects,
  • Get to know possible partners for planning and setting common rules + targets for drone services.

We want share experience and build new networks with whom we can continue this exploration.

Especially we want to know the right questions around this topic, questions that need to be answered to enable drone business growth.

  • How should the infrastructure change? How to enable drone traffic? Loading balconies / platforms in buildings? How to retrofit them?
  • Who is allowed to use public air space?
    • Should one apply for a permit to fly drones?
    • For what purposes the drones are used for?
    • Public sector services vs commercial services?
    • User groups and motives?
    • What to prioritize?
  • Noise?
  • Safety?
  • Privacy issues? The drones will use many kinds of sensors to enable secure and reliable flights. They also have access to heights which normally have been considered private zones.
  • Who prioritizes the use of air space?
    • Rotors vs. fixed wings? The need for (straight) air space?
    • How should you share the possible flight corridors?
  • And finally: What are the missing essential questions to be solved?
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