A 100% electric
autonomous shuttle

on public roads
Keolis Canada and the City of Candiac, supported by the Québec Government via the Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification, and in collaboration with Propulsion Québec, the Cluster for Electric and Smart Transportation and the Technopôle IVÉO have set up a pilot project of a 100% electric autonomous shuttle on public roads, a first in Canada.

Financial assistance of $350,000 was made available by the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation (MESI) through the Innovation Program to support demonstration projects provided for in the Action Plan for the Ground Transport Industry and Sustainable Mobility.

The shuttle, which coexists with regular traffic, complements public transit that is currently available and allows Candiac citizens and workers to reach their destinations more easily.

This project was developed in collaboration with the manufacturer NAVYA, the Technopôle IVÉO and Propulsion Québec, the Cluster for Electric and Smart Transportation. The project was made possible through the financial support of the Québec Government and has been duly analyzed by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) and the Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification.

Leading the way in public transport, the Keolis Group develops customized mobility solutions adapted to the changing needs of passengers and to the requirements of the communities it serves. Keolis is a major player in the public transportation of passengers in Europe and around the world. Today, over 3 billion passengers worldwide have used one of the shared mobility services offered by Keolis.

Division of the Keolis Group, Keolis Canada specializes in light rail, intercity, urban, school, accessible, airport and charter transportation services. Keolis offers safe and reliable high-quality service thanks to a team of over 976 experienced employees. Keolis operates a fleet of 428 vehicles in Canada, of which 14 Light Rail Vehicles with the future operations of Keolis Grand River, Ontario. Every year, Keolis transports almost 10 million passengers and over 1 million packages in Canada.

The manufacturer NAVYA designs, produces and markets autonomous, driverless, electric vehicles that combine the highest level of robotic, digital and automotive technologies. NAVYA has a range of two autonomous vehicles: the AUTONOM® SHUTTLE, launched in September 2015, of which more than 100 have already been produced as of today and 89 sold in 17 countries and the AUTONOM® CAB, unveiled in November 2017 and whose first road tests will start shortly.
The shuttle is operated in Candiac along a 2 km route between the exo park-and-ride lot and the bus terminal and the intersection of Marie-Victorin and Montcalm North Boulevards near the Parc André-J.-Côté. The shuttle makes several stops along the way, as shown on the map. It autonomously crosses the intersection of Marie-Victorin et Montcalm North Boulevards, thanks to smart traffic lights connected to the shuttle.
The autonomous shuttle experimentation in Candiac has been completed on December 31st, 2019.
It is Keolis Canada’s first long-term demonstration project of an autonomous 100% electric shuttle on public roads in Canada.

With a capacity of 15 passengers and operating at a maximum speed of 25 km/hr, the NAVYA autonomous electric shuttle facilitates travel and promotes the use of public transit in underserved areas.

The shuttle, which is operated in mixed traffic, complements Candiac’s current public transportation services and allows citizens and workers to reach their destinations more easily, specifically by facilitating access to the exo park-and-ride lot and the bus terminal as well as the Parc André-J.-Côté.

The pilot project was launched for the general public on October, 4th 2018 and has been completed on December 31st, 2019.
We prepared for the operation of the autonomous shuttle until September. During this period, we mapped the autonomous shuttle’s route, conducted technical tests and train the operators. We conducted trial runs on the shuttle’s route including tests in real conditions without passengers on board for two weeks, starting September 17th, at the request of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec and of the Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification.

The launch of operations for the general public was on October 4th, 2018 f. The pilot project has been completed on December 31st, 2019.

The shuttle is operated at a maximum speed of 15 km/hr, adjusting its pace to its environment. As an example, if the shuttle is following a bicycle, it will reduce its speed to adapt to the pace of the bicycle in front of it, so it can avoid having to brake suddenly, ensuring a comfortable and safe ride for passengers.
Access to the autonomous shuttle is free for all passengers as part of the pilot project.
The autonomous shuttle has been used successfully in winter conditions in Michigan. However, in case of heavy snowfall, of snow piled up on the roads or of temperature below -10 Celsius degrees, the autonomous shuttle does not operate.

To ensure that the shuttle adapts to Québec cold weather conditions, a research and development project has been started in 2019.

The manufacturer, NAVYA, designs and produces state-of-the-art vehicles to ensure safe passenger travel. NAVYA has tested its vehicles in multiple environments. NAVYA has been involved in more than 25 projects in 17 countries. Keolis operates 17 autonomous shuttles and has safely transported more than 130,000 passengers worldwide since 2016. To ensure the safety and comfort of passengers and optimal support for this new mode of transportation, Keolis Canada will provide an operator on board the autonomous shuttle for the duration of the pilot project.

The autonomous shuttle is programmed and follows a designated route. It is equipped with the latest generation of sensors capable of communicating with each other to enable it to fully understand its environment. Thus, the shuttle is able to manage its route and make a series of decisions on its own.

An access ramp is available on the NAVYA AUTONOM SHUTTLE. However, the autonomous shuttle is not equipped with anchor points and straps to fasten a wheelchair, required by the Québec legislation. Consequently, wheelchairs cannot board the shuttle during the experimentation.
Passengers’ safety is a main priority at Keolis Canada.

Consequently, for operational safety reasons, bikes will not be accepted on board. Strollers will be accepted only if they are properly folded. Finally, only service dogs for disabled people and pets held in small locked cages or closed travel bags will be accepted on board.

The shuttle complements current transportation services in areas that are underserved by conventional public transit.
Are you interested to take part in a innovative pilot project for shared and connected mobility?

We are looking for Autonomous Shuttle Operators who are passionate about new technology and public service, as offered by the autonomous shuttle in Candiac.

Build your career in mobility with Keolis Canada, send your resume to [email protected]

For questions about the Candiac project:
[email protected]
For questions about the Keolis autonomous shuttle: [email protected]