The City of Toronto, TTC and Metrolinx have concluded the on-road portion of the West Rouge Automated Shuttle Trial in Scarborough. The on-road trial was the culmination of research and preparation by the project partners to learn more about the future of automated shuttles in public transit delivery in Toronto and the potential future benefits of such neighbourhood-based service for residents and transit riders.
The City contracted Local Motors by LM Industries in 2020 to use Olli 2.0, the latest iteration of the company’s electric, self-driving shuttle. The shuttle service trial was planned to connect the West Rouge neighbourhood and Rouge Hill GO Station. The shuttle vehicle underwent testing in mixed traffic on local and arterial roads, experiencing a variety of weather conditions including rain and snow. The free, public service was supposed to launch in 2021 but was delayed as the project team continued evaluation of the shuttle’s performance.
The City, TTC and Metrolinx have jointly agreed to conclude the trial in Toronto due to several reasons that are expected to continue delaying service to the public past the February 28, 2022 planned end date. Local Motors has recently ceased operations and is no longer available to provide technical and operational support. In addition, the Ministry of Transportation has suspended its approval to operate the trial in Toronto due to an unrelated incident with a Local Motors shuttle in December 2021.
Despite not offering service to the public, the City and its partners tested the automated shuttle service for two months in the fall of 2021 and gathered data about how automated vehicle technologies operate, their different requirements when compared to conventional transit vehicles, the current limitations of the technology and the range of solutions available in the market. The insights gained from the trial will support future decision-making and planning for automated vehicles in transit and the broader transportation system.
The City, TTC and Metrolinx remain committed to finding innovative, accessible and sustainable transit solutions, including automated vehicle technology, to fulfill the future transportation needs of Torontonians.
The Automated Shuttle Trial was delivered in partnership between the City, TTC and Metrolinx, with funding from Transport Canada under the program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System. The trial is part of Toronto’s Automated Vehicles Tactical Plan and Readiness 2022 which is the first comprehensive automated vehicles plan for a North American city.
More information about the West Rouge Automated Shuttle Trial can be found at toronto.ca/AVshuttle.
To learn more about the City’s work to prepare for automated vehicles, as well as the Automated Vehicles Tactical Plan, please visit the City’s website.
More information about Transport Canada’s program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System (ACATS), can be found on the Government of Canada website.
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