Keolis Canada and the City of Candiac, with the manufacturer NAVYA, financial support from the Québec Government, the collaboration of Propulsion Québec, the Cluster for Electric and Smart Transportation and the Technopôle IVÉO, have announced the first long-term demonstration project of a 100% electric autonomous shuttle on public roads in Canada. The NAVYA Autonom Shuttle will operate in mixed traffic, this is a first step towards integrating autonomous shuttles into shared transportation solutions. The pilot project will begin in the summer 2018 for a period of 12 months, including eight months at the service of citizens. During the winter, a research and development project to test the shuttle in Québec cold weather conditions will take place without passengers on board.
For this project, Keolis has obtained financial support of $350,000 (CAD) from the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation as part of the measure to support demonstration projects in the action plan in favor of the industry of ground transportation and sustainable mobility.
The NAVYA Autonom Shuttle will operate along a 2-km route between the exo park-and-ride lot and the bus terminal and the intersection of Marie-Victorin and Montcalm North Boulevards with several stops along the way, including City Hall, retirement housing and local businesses. The shuttle also will allow employees in the area to reach their workplaces from the bus terminal. In addition, the CAA-Québec Foundation for road safety, with the support of partners, is evaluating the possibility of conducting an independent study on road safety and social acceptance in this project. The lessons learned would offer precious insights with a clear goal of maintaining, without condition, harmony between vehicles sharing the road.
“The autonomous electric shuttle complements Candiac’s existing transportation offer and is yet another step towards integrated intermodal transportation services," said Marie Hélène Cloutier, vice president of passenger experience, marketing and sales for Keolis Canada. President and Chief Operating Officer of Keolis CanadaPatrick Gilloux adds: "We are very excited to launch this project in Québec. Keolis is investing in new shared electric mobility services because it is an important cornerstone for the future of public transportation.”
“The autonomous shuttle project in Candiac is a first in several ways for the electric and smart transportation industry of Québec. One of the main benefits of autonomous transportation is to improve passengers’ experience, especially within areas that are not currently served by collective transport offer, such as the first and last kilometers of a trip, without having to add heavy infrastructures,” said Sarah Houde, executive director of Propulsion Québec. "This progress will also contribute to the development and adoption of a regulatory framework, practices and public policies that will foster the development, testing and marketing of electric and intelligent vehicles, one of Propulsion Québec's principal mandates. This is a great achievement that will benefit the community and members of the cluster.”