This Canadian City is Launching a Driverless Electric Shuttle

Published August 16, 2018 at 4:20 pm


Canada is readying itself for the arrival of driverless cars as a new project gets set to kick off.

It’s the first time a 100 per cent electric autonomous shuttle will used on public roads in the country.

A long-term demonstration project is being rolled out in September in Candiac, Que.

“We are extremely proud to be the first city in Canada to move forward with a project of this nature,” said Candiac Mayor Normand Dyotte.

Candiac is an off-island Montreal suburb with a population of about 21,047 based on the 2016 Census.

The announcement was made in Candiac by federal Transport Minister André Fortin on Aug. 10.

It’s a collaboration with transportation company Keolis Canada, manufacturer NAVYA, and the Quebec government.

Here’s what’s in store: The autonomous electric shuttle will provide citizens with free transportation between the park-and-ride lot and André-J.Côté Park, making its way along Montcalm Blvd. N.

Stops include City Hall, the Chartwell Le Montcalm senior’s residence and several businesses.

A human driver will be on board the shuttle for the duration of the project to answer any questions from users, and will also be able to take control of the shuttle as required.

The shuttle will run throughout the fall until winter weather conditions take over.

An experimentation phase, with no passengers, will then begin to ensure the shuttle’s performance during the winter season.    

The objective of the project, over and above providing additional transportation options, is to contribute to the evolution of autonomous transport technology.

Last January, a Senate committee released a 78-page report finding Canada isn’t even close to being ready for the arrival of driverless cars.

“We have to adapt to it as quickly as possible,” Liberal Sen. Dennis Dawson said at the time.

A KPGM report released on Jan. 17 found Canada could be one of the first on the road with self-driving vehicles.

By participating in this unique demonstration project, the city “confirms its status as a leader in innovation and sustainable development,” a news release reads.

“Candiac places great importance on public and active transport,” said Dyotte.

“We are constantly working to provide additional multimodal transportation options while remaining steadfastly focused on the notions of sustainable development and the smart city.”

Dyotte calls the project a “true showcase of technological advancements.”

Photo courtesy of the City of Candiac

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