First autonomous shuttle drives on Canada’s public roads

October 8, 2018  - By

Keolis Canada and Montreal suburb City of Candiac have launched a long-term demonstration project of an autonomous electric shuttle on public roads in Canada. The shuttle will complement the public transit services currently available in Candiac.

The pilot project will take place over a period of 12 months, with about eight months dedicated to serving citizens.

This initiative was made possible through the financial support and expertise of the Quebec government and the collaboration of Propulsion Québec, the Cluster for Electric and Smart Vehicles and the Technopôle IVÉO.

Screenshot from Keolis Canada video.

Screenshot from Keolis Canada video.

The NAVYA autonomous shuttle will operate along a two-kilometer route between the park-and-ride lot and exo’s bus terminal and the intersection of Marie-Victorin and Montcalm North boulevards with several stops along the way, including City Hall, a retirement complex and local businesses.

The autonomous shuttle, which will coexist with regular traffic, will allow employees in the area to reach their workplaces from the bus terminal.

Along the route, the shuttle will go through a railway crossing and an intersection where it will communicate with four traffic lights. During the winter period, a research and development project, without passengers on board, will test how the autonomous electric shuttle adapts to Quebec winter conditions.

“This initiative is exciting because it’s the first pilot project in Canada, and the way it’s carried out will set the course for the next one,” said Marie Hélène Cloutier, vice president, Passenger Experience, Marketing & Sales for Keolis Canada. “For Keolis Canada, multimodal service is the key to the future of transportation. Autonomous electric shuttles are a great example of this because they complement existing services. The enthusiasm for this project has surpassed our expectations, which is very promising for the future.”

“We are extremely proud to be enabling Candiac residents to participate in this historic achievement,” said Normand Dyotte, mayor of Candiac. “It’s an outstanding opportunity for our citizens to be able to travel aboard the first-ever electric autonomous shuttle on a public road in Canada. We invite all public transit users and anyone who is curious or interested to come and try it now.”

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.