Self-driving shuttles in North America aren’t limited to the United States alone, as the city of Toronto has sealed a new deal with Local Motors to use the latest version of its Olli driverless shuttles as part of an automated transportation test in spring next year.
According to reports, the six- to 12-month test run will screen how well the autonomous vehicles will bolster Toronto’s mass transit system in the area by connecting the West Rouge neighborhood with its local Go train station.
The Olli 2.0 shuttles have a space capacity for up to eight passengers. Although commuters won’t be completely alone, they will ride with two staffers, one from Pacific Western Transportation and one from either TTC or Metrolinx, they will be onboard to study each trip.
The shuttles are expected to eventually fill gaps in Toronto’s sprawling public transportation system, creating a more fair system that doesn’t punish anyone for living too far from a bus or train station.
It’s not clear how effective the trial will be for now if the COVID-19 pandemic continues as jumping into a small vehicle with strangers could be a lot riskier, and dangerous to people with health conditions but it hints at a future where you can easily avoid car ownership if you so wish.
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) October 14, 2020