Vancouver residents are being offered a chance to experience a driverless shuttle ride. Rides will take place at the following times:

          Surrey Civic Plaza in Surrey City Centre: February 1-18

          Vancouver Olympic Village: February 23 - March 5

It may look like it’s something straight out of the future, but ELA – The EZ10 Driverless Shuttle is already being used in several countries around the world. ELA – short for ELectric Automation – is a fully accessible, 100% electric vehicle with a battery life of up to 14 hours. It holds up to 12 passengers and will travel at about 12 km/h during the demo but has a maximum travelling speed of 40 km/h.

Autonomous shuttles are one of the main components of the City of Surrey and the City of Vancouver’s Smart Cities Challenge bid to create Canada’s first two collision-free multimodal corridors using smart mobility technologies.

“This is the first time that autonomous vehicles are being considered for large-scale use in the Lower Mainland. We are pleased to showcase a driverless shuttle and use the demonstration as a way to continue the conversation with the public about all the innovative technologies planned as part of our bid,” says City of Surrey Mayor, Doug McCallum.

“Driverless vehicles are anticipated to eliminate one of the leading contributors to collisions – human error,” says City of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

“By piloting them on these corridors, we can learn more about how they can be used throughout the region to improve safety, reduce congestion, and create safer, greener, healthier, more connected communities. In Surrey and Vancouver we believe that together, we are leading the way and setting the standard for other cities in Canada to follow for smart mobility.”

A driverless shuttle, or autonomous vehicle (AV), uses a combination of sensors, video cameras and computers to understand its surroundings. In the future, city transportation planners envision using AVs to improve safety, enhance sustainability and reduce congestion on busy corridors.

During the demos, the shuttle will be separated from traffic to ensure public safety. The shuttle can accommodate wheelchairs, scooters and strollers.

The ELA shuttle will start its journey in Surrey City Centre, and following its visit, will be relocated to the City of Vancouver’s Olympic village. A trained operator will be on board to stop the vehicle if needed, and rides will take approximately five minutes.

To learn more about Smart Cities Challenge bid or to book your free shuttle ride visit www.smartertogether.ca.

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