The future is now in Montreal. As part of new pilot project launched by Transdev Canada, a company focused on transit innovation, in partnership with the city of Montreal, a new self-driving shuttle will hit the streets in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough.
Authur Nicolet, CEO of Transdev, described the project as a first in Canada. The automated shuttles are a product of EasyMile, which calls itself as a "pioneer in driverless technologies."
The new shuttles will "circulate in normal daily traffic conditions, crossing intersections equipped with intelligent traffic signals with which the shuttles communicate, thus providing useful connectivity to the inhabitants of Montreal, as it shuttles between the Olympic Park and the Maisonneuve Market," according to a press release from EasyMile.
Watch the MTLBlog video below for more information and to see the self-driving shuttle in action:
The vehicles are fully electric and dock at their charging station in the Olympic Park, according to the EasyMile project manager. MTLBlog correspondant Ariel Lefkowitz further explains that four sensors at each corner of the vehicle allow it to move through the streets safely.
The self-driving shuttles are FREE for Montrealers to ride for the entire duration of the pilot — from June 21st to August 4th. The loaf-shaped cars can hold 12 people and reach 15 miles per hour.
There is hope that, if the project is successful, more self-driving public transport could come to the city. Autonomous traffic, without the variables of human error and arrogance, could mean less congestion and more mobility for city residents.
The proliferation of electric vehicles could also drastically reduce carbon emisisions.
Catch a ride on the new shuttle between the Olympic Park and Maisonneuve Market from Monday to Sunday, 10 Am to 6 PM.