CANDIAC, QC, Oct. 4, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Keolis Canada and the City of Candiac are proud to announce the official launch of the first long-term demonstration project of an autonomous electric shuttle on public roads in Canada. The shuttle will complement the public transit services currently available in Candiac. The pilot project will take place over a period of 12 months, with about eight months dedicated to serving citizens. This initiative was made possible through the financial support and expertise of the Quebec government and the collaboration of Propulsion Québec, the Cluster for Electric and Smart Vehicles and the Technopôle IVÉO.
The NAVYA autonomous shuttle will operate along a two-km route between the park-and-ride lot and exo's bus terminal and the intersection of Marie-Victorin and Montcalm North boulevards with several stops along the way, including City Hall, a retirement complex and local businesses. The autonomous shuttle, which will coexist with regular traffic, will allow employees in the area to reach their workplaces from the bus terminal. Along the route, the shuttle will go through a railway crossing and an intersection where it will communicate with four traffic lights. During the winter period, a research and development project, without passengers on board, will test how the autonomous electric shuttle adapts to Quebec winter conditions.
"This initiative is exciting because it's the first pilot project in Canada, and the way it's carried out will set the course for the next one. For Keolis Canada, multimodal service is the key to the future of transportation. Autonomous electric shuttles are a great example of this because they complement existing services," says Marie Hélène Cloutier, Vice-President, Passenger Experience, Marketing & Sales for Keolis Canada. "The enthusiasm for this project has surpassed our expectations, which is very promising for the future."
"We are extremely proud to be enabling Candiac residents to participate in this historic achievement. It's an outstanding opportunity for our citizens to be able to travel aboard the first-ever electric autonomous shuttle on a public road in Canada. We invite all public transit users and anyone who is curious or interested to come and try it now," says Normand Dyotte, Mayor of Candiac.
To view the schedules, please visit https://keoliscandiac.ca/en/
Financial assistance of $350,000 was provided by the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation through the new Innovation Program to support demonstration projects provided for in the action plan for the ground transport industry and sustainable mobility.
Safety first and foremost
To ensure quality of service and to guarantee the project's safety, the vehicle was tested prior to the launch in a dry run over a two-week period in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification and the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). The autonomous electric shuttles are state-of-the-art vehicles designed and built to provide safe transportation for passengers. In addition to various components that allow it to detect obstacles (front and rear cameras, GNSS, odometry and lidar sensors), the autonomous electric shuttle is equipped with two emergency stop buttons, an emergency brake and a hand brake. Also for safety reasons, Keolis Canada will ensure that an operator at the service of passengers will be on board the autonomous shuttle throughout the pilot project.
A global experience
The Keolis Group has tested the shuttle in multiple environments in collaboration with the manufacturer NAVYA, which itself has been involved in more than 25 projects in 17 countries. Keolis has been conducting five long-term autonomous shuttle experiments: in France, in Lyon since 2016; in Paris at Charles de Gaulle airport, where the shuttles cross an open road with heavy traffic; in the Paris business district La Défense; in the United States in Las Vegas and in London's Olympic Park in the United Kingdom. In total, Keolis operates 15 autonomous shuttles and safely transports nearly 110,000 passengers in locations around the world. Candiac will now be among them.
The NAVYA autonomous electric shuttle
The autonomous electric shuttle operated by Keolis as part of this pilot project has a capacity of 15 passengers and runs at a maximum speed of approximately 25 km/hr. The vehicle facilitates access and travel, saving time for both public transit users and passengers on private sites. It has been designed and developed to make travel smoother and easier along the initial and final stages of a route.
About the City of Candiac
A haven of tranquility less than 25 minutes from Montreal along the St. Lawrence River, Candiac is known for its urban forest of 17,000 trees as well as its sustainable development and mobility practices. Committed to innovation, Candiac is an attractive modern city offering a high quality of life that respects the environment and is dedicated to the well-being of current and future generations. The city ranks eighth in Quebec's economic vitality index.
About Keolis Canada
The Keolis Group is a major player in public passenger transport around the world. More than 3 billion passengers have used one of its shared mobility services. The Group develops customized mobility solutions adapted to changes in passenger travel and community expectations. As the world's leading operator of automated metro and light rail systems, Keolis takes an approach based on sustained and open innovation with all of its partners to develop new innovative shared mobility services: trains, buses and coaches, trolleybuses, shared private hire vehicles, river and maritime shuttles, self-service bicycles, car sharing, autonomous electric shuttles and urban cable cars.
The Group is 70% owned by SNCF and 30% by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). Keolis has 63,000 employees in 16 countries and achieved a turnover of €5.4 billion (Can$8.7 billion) in 2017.
Keolis Canada specializes in intercity, urban, light rail, school, adapted, airport and charter passenger transportation services. Keolis Canada offers safe and reliable high-quality service, thanks to a team of over 900 experienced employees, and transports almost 10 million passengers and more than 1 million packages per year. The company operates a fleet of 410 vehicles, including 14 light rail cars with the upcoming launch of the Keolis Grand River operation in Ontario.
SOURCE Keolis Canada
For further information: Source: Marie Hélène Cloutier, Vice-President, Passenger Experience, Marketing & Sales, Keolis Canada; Information and media contacts: Raphaëlle Cyr-Lelièvre, Account Director, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Telephone: 418-425-0986, Cell phone: 418-580-0040, Email: email@example.com