Two shuttle pilot initiatives are at an end, though lessons learned from the projects will help Metrolinx and its partners to plan for future transportation needs. These lessons will support autonomous vehicles on public roads and into public transit systems.
Autonomous shuttle trials in Whitby and Toronto have ended following the news that the shuttle’s manufacturer, Local Motors, ceased operations in January.
While the trials are ending, lessons learned during operations are expected to help the next generations of autonomous vehicles on Ontario roads. Municipal and private partners, as well as transit agencies, all came together to launch the combined autonomous project to explore an innovative and sustainable way to connect riders to and from GO Transit and local transit services.
Both shuttles were suspended in Dec. 2021 due to an ongoing police investigation from a collision in Whitby. While the investigation is still ongoing, it’s since been determined that the vehicle was being operated in manual mode – and not autonomous – prior to and at the time of the collision.
The projects generated insights and learnings on autonomous vehicle technology and on the potential integration with transit systems.
Metrolinx will continue to support and build on the findings, to make it easier for passengers to get to and from GO Transit stops and stations.
Story by Katryna Rodrigues, Metrolinx manager Communications Planning