Edmonton

Take a free ride: Edmonton tests driverless electric shuttle

The City of Edmonton is inviting residents to take a free ride on an electric autonomous vehicle (ELA) next month and into early November.

'It's important we start to understand potential uses and impacts,' Mayor Don Iveson says

Edmontonians will be able to take a free ride on this autonomous electric shuttle as part of a City of Edmonton research project. (City of Edmonton)

The City of Edmonton is inviting residents to take a free ride on an electric autonomous vehicle as part of a pilot project.

The city and its research partners want to gather feedback from riders about their experiences, the city said in a news release Thursday.

The 12-passenger shuttle made by France-based EasyMile will be available to ride at these locations:

"Edmonton is often innovating new ideas," Mayor Don Iveson said in the news release.

"It is incredibly exciting to be one of the first cities in Western Canada to have our citizens test out a fully autonomous shuttle.

"Transportation and vehicle technology is evolving quickly and cities are at the forefront of this change. It's important we start to understand potential uses and impacts as well as our citizen perceptions."

There will be two ways to get a free ride: by lining up, or by signing up in advance to skip the line.

To ensure public safety, the shuttle will be separated from traffic.

There will be a trained operator on board who can stop the vehicle if needed.

The vehicle will operate at about 12 km/h. It has a ramp for accessibility.

People who ride the shuttle will be asked to complete an online survey.

"It's important to understand what people think of the change in technology," said Stephanie McCabe, branch manager for the city's corporate strategy branch.

The city is working on the pilot project with Pacific Western Transportation and the University of Alberta.

now