September 15th, 2018 by Jake Richardson
A 100% electric autonomous shuttle will be used on roads in Candiac, Quebec, in a long-term demonstration project. It is a collaboration between the shuttle’s manufacturer, NAVYA, Keolis Canada, the Quebec government, and Propulsion Quebec. From fall to winter, the shuttle will provide free service between the park-and-ride lot and André-J.Côté Park.
There will be a person onboard to answer rider questions and to take over the shuttle if necessary. When winter conditions become rougher, there will be a phase with no riders to continue testing operations.
Autonomous cars are in the works and some Teslas have autopilot assistance, though it seems to be debatable at this point how trustworthy it is, depending upon who you ask. Uber has been experimenting with self-driving cars as well.
A shuttle carrying multiple riders seems to be something different, though. Is the point to eliminate drivers of these types of vehicles permanently? What if a passenger was having a medical emergency like a stroke or heart attack? How would the shuttle be stopped to allow medical personnel to board and help the person?
There’s a self-driving truck startup, but hauling cargo without human drivers seems more feasible, because at least there would not be any human passengers to be harmed by glitches or gaps in the technology’s coverage. However, huge, driverless trucks could still cause accidents if something went wrong.
Naturally, driverless shuttles would transport humans, which means there could be a variety of contingencies, like the medical ones mentioned previously. What do you think about the potential advantages of having self-driving shuttles?
Image Credit:CC BY-SA 4.0
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