Porokello warnings available for smartphones

The mobile app Porokello (‘Reindeer Bell’) has been released today (September 13th, 2017) and can be downloaded for free on iOS and Android phones. The app alerts users of reindeer by sound and colour in real time using geographic data. The Porokello service is based on real time reindeer warnings produced by professional drivers in the area for reindeer raising. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Lapland has been recruiting professional drivers as warners since June 2016. There are more than 1,800 reindeer warners, who give out between 50 and 1,000 reindeer warnings per day based on their sightings.

Many ways to receive reindeer warning

The unique Porokello service is a smart traffic service designed to warn about animals. It has become very popular among professional drivers and has given positive results from the very start. What sets the Porokello service apart is its extensive selected base of warners. The more than 1,800 professional drivers who give out reindeer warnings through Porokello have received training in using the app and a stationary smartphone for their vehicle. The reindeer warnings by professional drivers have been available since November 2016 in the V-Traffic service that reaches over half a million road users in Finland through navigation devices and a mobile app. The newly released Porokello app makes reindeer warnings available for almost everyone.

Goal to halve reindeer accidents

Reindeer accidents started to decline already in 2016 after introducing the Porokello system. There were 3,470 reindeer accidents last year, which is 838 less than the previous year (4,308 accidents). The goal is to improve traffic safety and halve reindeer accidents by 2020.

Porokello is a research and development project administrated by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Lapland. The project aims to create a new smart traffic service to warn about reindeer by utilising mobile technology. Several parties and companies are involved in developing the system, including the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Lapland, the Finnish Transport Agency, the Reindeer Herders’ Association, Paikkatieto Online Oy and V-Traffic Mediamobile. Porokello is part of the Aurora network.