Whitby hosting sneak peek at driverless WAVE city bus

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Published October 12, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Whitby residents can get a sneak peak of the future of public transit this weekend.

The town is hosting an event to show off the Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric (WAVE), a fully self-driving city bus. Whitby will be the first community in the world to integrate a driverless city bus into it’s transit system.

The WAVE pilot project began its testing phase in late August and is expected to accept passengers in the coming months.

The WAVE is completely electric, creating no emissions, according to ConnectWhitby.

The town has constructed smart infrastructure that communicates with the shuttle along the six-kilometre route. More than 50 ‘smart torches’ have been installed that will share information between the WAVE and other vehicles.

This route begins at the Whitby Go transit station, goes by Victoria Park, and loops through the Port Whitby area. It will become DRT route 300 once passengers are allowed on. It will run 8:30 to 3:30 during the week, and 7 to 7 on weekends.

Much of the project was funded by Ontario Government’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network. It is a team effort between the Ontario, Durham and Whitby governments, Metrolinx, Durham College, Ontario Tech, SmartCone and Nokia Canada, among others.

In the interest of safety, the WAVE’s top speed is locked at 20 km/h. A technician will also be on board to take control if needed.

The event takes place at the Iroquois Sports Centre from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m on October 16. While tickets are free, residents who wish to attend will have to register for a 15 minute slot.

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