Mission to SPACE completed: UITP’s automated vehicles project draws to a close
UITP's mission to SPACE has been completed!
- 5 October 2021
The autonomous electric shuttle operates on Montcalm Boulevard on a 2km route between the park-and-ride lot/bus terminal and the city's Landmark Park at the other end of the boulevard. The route is fixed and has eight stops which are accessible at bus stops. Along the way, the shuttle encounters mixed traffic on public streets, an industrial park with trucks, a railway crossing and street light crossings. The schedule of the service was adjusted to meet the citizens' needs after testing various periods of the day (morning, weekend). The vehicle is not wheelchair accessible.
The City of Candiac puts great emphasis on sustainable development and mobility. This pilot is perfectly aligned with the city’s vision in terms of innovation and is at the heart of the 2014-2029 strategic plan.
This pilot has several objectives:
The total budget of this pilot is $500,000 CAD. It is co-financed by the Québec Government/ Propulsion Québec ($350,000 CAD worth of subsidy), by the City of Candiac ($100,000 CAD) and by Keolis ($50,000 CAD).
The pilot follows the Highway Safety Code by the Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification.
Three important modifications had to be made in order to ensure the functioning of the pilot. The first one is that a stop sign had to be installed to allow the shuttle to make a left turn. This is because in order to be able to calculate the oncoming cars' speed, which is essential to make a left turn without stopping, the shuttle must have a visibility clearance of 150/200m. This addition was therefore necessary to ensure the passengers' comfort and safety. The second addition was street furniture. These had to be installed along the route segment to allow the Lidar sensors to correctly map out the area as, originally, there were no landmarks or buildings close to the curb. And finally, the pilot had to modify the traffic lights to make them communicate with the shuttle as the vehicle does not recognise colours.
So far, the vehicle has transported 272 passengers with an average of 15 per day, at an average operational speed of 15km/h. Both the City of Candiac and its citizens (passengers) were extremely satisfied with the pilot. No accident occurred but a manual intervention was needed when the shuttle suddenly stopped because of a tree branch. This branch was too close to the street and the sensors read it as an obstacle.
The CAA-Québec Foundation is an associated research to the pilot. Its aim is to identify all issues and considerations associated to the arrival of the shuttle on our roads in order to ensure a harmonised and safe road sharing. To do so, the impact on pedestrians, cyclists or car drivers must be evaluated.
UITP's mission to SPACE has been completed!
The SPACE Final Conference will take place on 30 September.
7 words explained
Also known as flocking. A collection of (automated) vehicles that travel together, actively coordinated in formation. Platoons decrease the distances between vehicles using electronic, and possibly mechanical, coupling. Platooning allows many vehicles to accelerate or brake simultaneously.
High density environment with an efficient high capacity public transport system with good capillarity and high frequencies.
Medium density environment with a good public transport system with radial connections to the city center, but lower capillarity and frequencies. This setting includes suburban cities.
Small, isolated city with an own public transport system and <100K inhabitants.
Low-density environment, small cities and villages with poor public transport services mainly connecting the villages.
The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) levels define the level of vehicle autonomy, or in other words, how much human intervention is still needed for an automated vehicle to operate. Currently, five SAE levels have been defined: Level 0: Automated system issues warnings and may momentarily intervene but has no sustained vehicle control. Level 1 (hands on): Driver and automatic system share vehicle control. The driver must be ready to retake full control at any time. Level 2 (hands off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 3 (eyes off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 4 (mind off): As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, e.g. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Level 5 (steering wheel optional): No human intervention is required at all. An example would be a robotic taxi.
Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is the passing of information from a vehicle to any entity that may affect the vehicle, and vice versa.