Sat. May 21st, 2022

It will cover the West Rouge area in the fall and winter

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If you’ve always wanted to commute to work in a machine similar to Captain Picard’s toaster, the West Rouge Automated Shuttle Trial may be for you.

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Part of a project launched in partnership between the City of Toronto, Metrolinx and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), this temporary trial uses a low-speed automated vehicle based at the Rouge Hill GO station. Fixed-station stations will provide access to the West Rouge neighborhood plus its town center and national city park. Its autonomous driving system means that the machine stops at each designated shuttle stop, so passengers do not have to inform the attendant in advance that they want to get off.

And, yes, there will be a human attendant on board to take over the driving duties if required. The service is in accordance with GO schedules, although its route and operating hours are different on weekdays compared to weekends. Tap to see this thing during peak hours, such as between 6:00 and 9:00 during the week. Detailed schedule information will be completed next month.

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By the way, this temporary service is free to use, but people who want to take a shuttle must book a trip and limit passengers on a single trip to persons within a household. This is both a function of the small size of the shuttle (up to 8 passengers) and existing COVID restrictions. Although the automatic shuttle test will not begin until October, residents will see the car in their neighborhood in mid-September while the planning committee conducts tests.

Why this time of year? Those behind the program will give the shuttle a good shakedown in the middle of a typical Canadian winter. The weather is monitored and the bus can be taken out of service if conditions are bad. The shuttle is powered by an electric motor, so the team will see what effect our climate has on the device’s battery life. If you are wondering, the car can drive up to 20 km / h in autonomous mode or double that speed once the human companion has taken control.

The shuttle, called Olli 2.0 and produced by a company called Local Motors, is scheduled to be in operation until February 2022. Right now, there are no intentions of making it a permanent project or scaling the use of automated shuttles .

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