Toronto Plans Automated Shuttle Trial for Spring 2021

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Tesla’s full self-driving beta is set to be released this month, and others around North America are looking for automated-driving solutions.

The City of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, has just signed a contract with Local Motors (LM) by LM Industries to offer the city an Automated Shuttle Trial, set to begin in Spring of 2021. Using LM’s Olli 2.0 electric, self-driving shuttle, the city will begin testing specific routes along the Toronto downtown next year.

The trial will run for 6-12 months, and will be staffed by two employees – one certified operator from Pacific Western Transportation, and one customer service ambassador from either TTC or Metrolinx, other partnering companies.

The Olli shuttle has been delivered in a number of low-speed roads near public spaces, including those in California, Florida, and Belgium. Pacific Western Transportation has also tested other automated Canadian shuttles in Alberta and British Columbia.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said, “We are continuing to move our city forward on many fronts including micro transit as we manage the effects of COVID-19.” He continued, “This innovative project will provide valuable insight, while embracing innovation that could help us build a better, more sustainable and equitable transportation network.”

The 2.9 million people who live in Toronto will benefit greatly from the switch, even if marginally at first. With Canada’s big steps towards sustainable transportation, however, even the air quality in Toronto and surrounding areas is likely to improve over the next decade; and that’s something we can all appreciate.

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