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Free driverless shuttle rides coming to Vancouver and Surrey in February

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Kenneth Chan Jan 18, 2019 12:33 pm 130

Free autonomous shuttle rides as part of an innovative urban showcase were announced for Surrey earlier this week, and now they are also slated to come to the Southeast False Creek area of Vancouver.

Between February 23 and March 3, the driverless shuttles will travel along a one-km-long route on West 1st Avenue between the northwest corner of the intersection of Manitoba Street and West 1st Avenue and the Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station parking lot.

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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 Smart Cities Challenge bid of creating Canada’s first two collision-free multimodal corridors with driverless vehicles.

The vehicle being used is an electric automated EZ10 Driverless Shuttle, which is already being used in several locations in the world, including Dubai and a university in Germany. This vehicle is fully-accessible with a capacity of 12 passengers and a battery life of up to 14 hours.

Its maximum travelling speed is 40 km/h, but during the traffic-separated demonstration, its speed will be limited to about 12 km/h.

An operator will be onboard to maneuver the vehicle if necessary, and all rides will take about five minutes.

This particular vehicle is designed and manufactured by France-based Easy Mile. Previous Canadian trials of the vehicle were conducted in Calgary between the Calgary Zoo and TELUS Spark last fall.

A free demonstration period will also be happening at Surrey Civic Plaza just outside Surrey City Hall from February 1 to 18, between Wednesdays and Sundays.

Each ride in Surrey will be a five-minute-long loop around the plaza, while the Vancouver ride will be a 15-minute-long, one-way shuttle. To avoid lines, rides can be booked online.

In June 2018, Surrey and Vancouver’s joint bid to build driverless vehicle corridors was shortlisted by the federal government’s urban innovation competition.

The Vancouver corridor will be a two-km-long route along the south shore of False Creek from Granville Island to Science World, providing connections to Olympic Village Station and Main Street-Science World Station. This project will utilize the right-of-way established by the former Olympic Line streetcar.

In Surrey, the corridor is envisioned for a 3.4-km-long route connecting Surrey Memorial Hospital and King George Station.

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.

Driverless Vehicle Demonstration Surrey 2019

When: February 1 to 18, 2019 — Wednesdays to Sundays only from 10 am to 4 pm

Where: Surrey Civic Plaza — 13450 104 Avenue, Surrey

Cost: Free! Book online to avoid lines

Driverless Vehicle Demonstration Vancouver 2019

When: February 23 to March 3, 2019

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! Book online to avoid lines

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