University of Waterloo and Rogers have just launched Canada’s first-ever driverless, autonomous shuttle, which will operate remotely over Rogers 5G network for transporting students and staff around the campus.
Dubbed “WATonoBus,” the shuttle’s 5-stop, 2.7-kilometre journey around the Waterloo main campus, intersecting with the campus light rail transit stop, holds the potential to help reshape how entire communities move around their urban spaces.
The shuttle features an integrated on-board sensor system providing vehicle intelligence and control, a suite of front, rear and side cameras providing a 360-degree view, light detection and ranging (LIDAR) active remote sensing systems used for detecting objects, and a WATonoBus smartphone app to help passengers navigate the campus using the shuttle.
“We are thrilled not only about WATonoBus, but what it represents,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “By marrying transformational research, infrastructure and a network of industry and government partnerships, we are demonstrating that educational institutions will help shape the future – in this case, the convergence of public transportation and smart urban mobility.”
The demonstration of the shuttle by the research team is the first of its kind at a Canadian academic institution and marks a significant milestone in a multi-year initiative to demonstrate and integrate autonomous transportation onto the campus.
Before commencing operation as a regular service, the driverless shuttle system will require approval from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO).