Canada’s first autonomous shuttle service launching in Candiac, Québec

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 are pleased to officially announce 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, in addition to complement the existing transport offer. The pilot project will begin in the summer 2018 for a period of 12 months, including 8 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.

Candiac, The NAYVA-built and Keolis-operated shuttle. Image via Keolis Canada
The NAYVA-built and Keolis-operated shuttle. Image via Keolis Canada

For this project, Keolis has obtained financial support of $350,000  from the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation as part of the measure to support demonstration projects in the action plan in favour of the industry of ground transportation and sustainable mobility.

With a capacity of 15 passengers and operating at a speed of approximately 25 km/hr, the autonomous electric shuttle facilitates access and travel, saving time for both public transit users and passengers on private sites. NAVYA counts 25 international projects, with Keolis, the company has tested the vehicle in multiple environments: in France, in Lyon since 2016 and in Paris at the Charles de Gaulle airport where the shuttle crosses a high traffic open road, in Australia in the suburbs of the capital Adelaide, in the United-States in Las Vegas, etc. With the autonomous shuttle, Keolis has already safely transported near 110,000 passengers worldwide. Ideal for urban areas and specific locations, such as airports, industrial facilities, amusement parks, hotel complexes and hospitals, it has been designed and developed to improve and to smooth initial and final stages of a trip.

The NAVYA Autonom Shuttle will operate along a two-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 will also 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 learnt would offer precious insights with a clear goal of maintaining, without condition, harmony between vehicles sharing the road.

“Candiac places great importance on public and active transport. We are constantly working to provide additional multimodal transportation options while remaining steadfastly focused on the notions of sustainable development and the smart city. A true showcase of technological advancements, the autonomous electric shuttle project put forth by Keolis Canada and NAVYA is perfectly aligned with our vision in terms of innovation and is at the heart of our 2014–2029 strategic development plan. We are extremely proud to be the first city in Canada to move forward with a project of this nature,” stated Normand Dyotte, Mayor of Candiac.

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