Autonomous vehicle service will begin in Scarborough’s Rouge Hill By September, 2020. Bus accident injuries are rare compared to other modes of transportation so expanding bus service could reduce auto accident injuries.
Mayor John Tory announced that ambassadors likely transit employees, would be on board assisting the public. The automated shuttle for 8-12 citizens are meant to increase access to transit hubs. Less serviceability areas could benefit from this pilot project.
The service is meant for low speed low volume environments that would not otherwise have public transit. The impact on personal injuries has not been studied and does not appear to be the priority. However, an increase in transit options may result in less people taking personal vehicles to work.
The level 4 autonomous shuttles will not need a driver for normal driving functions but requires an attendant on board. This will likely increase the demand for transit staff and expand the workers skill set. Moving the public transit system workforce into next generation jobs is critical to the future of public transit infrastructure.
The cities of Vancouver and Surrey are seeking funding to build a similar autonomous vehicle shuttle service. The Vancouver and Surrey proposal to the Federal government for funding of automated corridors could push these cities ahead in driverless technology.
The race to a safe self driving public transit system in Canada has begun.
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