Montreal

Canada's first self-driving shuttle using public roads coming to Candiac

Pilot project to run all year, testing conditions in all weather conditions

August 10, 2018

This is the autonomous shuttle set to take to the streets of Candiac. (CBC)
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The City of Candiac will be the guinea pig for Canada's first autonomous shuttle using public roads.

Rolling along at a whopping maximum of 25 km/h, the electric minibus will follow a two-kilometre route stopping along the way at City Hall, a bus terminal as well as various businesses.

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Up to 15 people can ride it, free of charge.

"We think the technology is there, it's safe to put out on public roads," said Quebec Transport Minister AndrĂ© Fortin.

"This is a project that is safe for the users, safe also for pedestrians, cyclists and people who may interact with the minibus itself."

The project is set to cost $750,000 with the province kicking in $350,000. The shuttle itself costs around $400,000.

Fortin made the announcement alongside Candiac Mayor Normand Dyotte and the manufacturer of the shuttle, Keolis Canada.

Ontario was the first province to test out autonomous cars on its roads, launching a 10-year pilot project at the end of 2016. 

In Alberta, a pilot project is set to launch in the fall involving a shuttle travelling on separate roadways.

Testing it out

This pilot project was made possible after the province put its updated Highway Safety Code into effect. The changes allowed the government to test out the shuttles on public roads.

Members of the public will be able to ride the shuttle for free starting at the end of August. While the project is set to run for 12 months, it will not be open to the public during the winter months but will still run.

An operator will be onboard at all times to make sure things run smoothly, answer questions or intervene if necessary.

The two-kilometre route that the shuttle is expected to follow during the pilot project passes by City Hall, a bus terminal as well as various businesses. (Keolis Canada)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Leavitt
Journalist

Sarah Leavitt is a journalist with CBC Montreal.

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