Free driverless shuttle rides in Vancouver's Olympic Village this week

Feb 26 2019, 10:43 pm

For a limited time only, there is a ‘free public transit’ connection running between the heart of the Olympic Village and the Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station.

A free driverless shuttle is currently operating every few minutes during the daytime between the northwest corner of the intersection of Manitoba Street and West 1st Avenue — just across from Craft Beer Market — and the parking lot behind the Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station.

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Each one-way, one-km-long trip on the closed westbound direction lane of West 1st Avenue is about 15 minutes long, with the autonomous vehicle travelling at speeds of about 12 km/h.

The vehicle being used is an electric automated EZ10 Driverless Shuttle, which is permanently used for several services elsewhere in the world, including Dubai and a university in Germany. It is designed and built by France-based Easy Mile.

Driverless shuttle Vancouver

Driverless shuttle in Vancouver’s Olympic Village. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Advance online bookings are not required (as they are currently completely booked) but there is ample walk-on space. Only five advance bookings were allowed per ride earlier in the year, however, the shuttle can hold up to 12 people.

All rides are free to demonstrate the viability of such autonomous transportation technologies for the City of Surrey and City of Vancouver’s joint partnership for Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge bid of creating Canada’s first two collision-free multimodal corridors with driverless vehicles.

Final bids from Canadian municipalities are due in March, and the winner will be announced later this spring. Surrey and Vancouver are vying for the top prize of $50 million in funding.

The free shuttle will run through Olympic Village daily until Sunday, March 3. Earlier this month, the same shuttle was completing free looping rides in Surrey Civic Plaza.

Driverless Vehicle Demonstration Vancouver 2019

When: Daily until Sunday, March 3, 2019

  • Weekdays: 11 am to 5:30 pm
  • Weekends: 10 am to 4:30 pm

Where:

  • Western terminus: Canada Line Olympic Village Station parking lot
  • Eastern terminus: Northwest corner of the intersection of Manitoba Street and West 1st Avenue

Cost: Free!

Driverless shuttle Vancouver

Driverless shuttle in Vancouver’s Olympic Village. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

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