Edmonton launches electric autonomous vehicle pilot project

Click to play video: 'Driverless, electric vehicle tested in Edmonton'
Driverless, electric vehicle tested in Edmonton
WATCH: A new technology is taking over Edmonton's streets: a driverless, electric vehicle called ELA. As Sarah Kraus explains, it's being tested here because of the cold, snowy climate – Oct 9, 2018

Edmonton’s electronic autonomous vehicle pilot project launched on Tuesday.

For three weeks in October and into November, residents can go to three different neighbourhoods across the city to try out the electric autonomous shuttle, also known as ELA.

READ MORE: Residents invited to explore their city on Edmonton’s new electric shuttle

The shuttle began operating Tuesday in Blatchford and will continuing running until Oct. 16. It will also operate Oct. 17 to 21 in Chappelle Gardens and Oct. 22 to Nov. 4 in Old Strathcona. It will be separated from traffic and will have a trained operator who can stop the vehicle when necessary.

“Getting to experience this cutting edge technology is very exciting,” Mayor Don Iveson said. “It really makes me think of my kids and the younger generations who very likely will live in a world where autonomous vehicles are a normal part of everyday life.”

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READ MORE: University of Alberta gets $500K for automated vehicle research

The ELA can travel at around 12 km/h, can hold up to 12 people and is fully accessible for people who use wheelchairs.

Those who ride the vehicle during the pilot project can also provide feedback to the city that will be used to learn about future potential operation of the technology.

Information on how to ride an ELA can be found on the city’s website.

A similar test was conducted in Calgary in September, where passengers were taken from the Calgary Zoo LRT station to the TELUS Spark Science Centre.

The two cities will share their test results, which Edmonton said will enable additional data evaluation of how the pilot vehicle operates in two different Alberta climates.

“I think that people will be very excited to come take a ride with ELA,” Dan Finley, Pacific Western Transportation business development vice president, said. “It’s a very unique experience that very few people in the world have yet to try.”

READ MORE: Edmonton pilot project to test electric autonomous vehicles this fall

The vehicle is manufactured by EasyMile. The company says it has more than 170 incident-free deployments in more than 20 countries.

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