The off-island Montreal suburb of Candiac is about to become a Canadian pioneer. Starting in September, the district will become the first to implement a fully automated self-driving shuttle bus service on public roads.
The driverless bus is designed by the Keolis Group, a Canadian company that specializes in public transport solutions around the world.
The electric shuttle will provide citizens with free transportation between the bus terminal and André-J.Côté Park, making its way along Montcalm Boulevard. The route will include stops at City Hall, the Chartwell Le Montcalm senior home and several local businesses.
“We are very excited to launch this project in Québec,” says Patrick Gilloux, President and Chief Operating Officer of Keolis Canada. “Keolis is investing in new shared electric mobility services because it is an important cornerstone for the future of public transportation.”
The pilot project will span throughout a 12 month period starting this summer, allowing passengers on board until the end of fall. A passenger-less experimentation phase will take place during the cold winter months to ensure the shuttle’s performance in Quebec’s harsh winter conditions.
An operator will be on the board the bus to answer any questions users might have. The operator will also be able to take control of the shuttle if need be.
Up to 15 people at a time will be able to coast along the bus’ two-kilometre route, travelling at 25 km/h.
“Keolis Canada has strong expertise in developing mobility solutions tailored to different communities and improving passengers’ travel options and habits. The autonomous electric shuttle complements Candiac’s existing transportation offer and is yet another step towards integrated intermodal transportation services,” says Marie Hélène Cloutier, Vice-President for Keolis Canada.