Robot buses are part of the transportation of the future

Harri Santamala / Sensible 4
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According to Harri Santala, the CEO of Sensible 4, autonomous vehicles make traffic safer and more efficient.

Why have you developed this innovation? 

"Our company develops vehicle automation systems that we try to have licensed for vehicle manufacturers. We are a software company, but right now we are also working on a physical bus together with the Japanese design house Muji.

Our greatest driving force is to make traffic safer. Around 90 percent of traffic accidents are caused by people. Autonomous systems commit fewer mistakes. Another factor is efficiency. We want to produce a traffic service that has better access for users both geographically and economically.   

Automated traffic is also being developed for transporting cargo, but our company is more focused on passengers. This means we also need to take into account traveling comfort. 

We are focusing on areas with less traffic. The most congested areas are not as economically lucrative. Such areas tend to already have buses and metros. Our products, such as the Muji bus, have more demand in, for instance, suburban areas." 

Harri Santamala / Sensible 4
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How did you move your idea forward? 

"Our company was born in 2017 when my friends and I from a research team at Aalto University decided to start developing Finnish robot buses. We have now been working for two years, but we are relying on expertise in robotics dating back to 1985.

We have a strong academic background. The technology was already devised during our student years, but we needed a robotics company with whom we can further develop the concept and take the next steps. We are talking about advanced technology that is difficult to copy. 

The bus initiative started when we realised we share a similar ideology on the future of transportation with Muji: shared vehicles instead of more privately owned ones."    

What does the future look like? 

"Our aim is that the buses become part of the Helsinki City Transport public transport system. The Muji bus will be presented in March 2019 and we aim that it only drives routes with real demand. We are now preparing the necessary steps for the buses to be in commercial use by 2021. 


Competition is tough in the field, but we are the only ones with a vehicle suitable for any weather condition. We could almost say that the worse the weather, the better it is for us. 

Harri Santamala
CEO, Sensible 4
Harri Santamala / Sensible 4

At the moment, we employ 26 people. We are due to open a couple of external offices this year, as sales proceed.” 


Sensible 4 develops vehicle automation systems. The company's aim is to develop transport systems suitable for passengers that are safe and functional in any weather condition. The GACHA bus developed together with the Japanese design company Muji was launched in autumn 2018. The first passengers can jump on board in March 2019 when the prototype is presented to the audience. 

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According to Harri Santala, the CEO of Sensible 4, autonomous vehicles make traffic safer and more efficient.