Ride and Share Your Experience On The WAVE

Posted on Wednesday November 10, 2021

Learn where and how you can ride the new shuttle and provide feedback to improve future experiences

Whitby, Ontario – Transit passengers can now get on board the WAVEWhitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric – shuttle for a ride along the Whitby waterfront. Public ridership is being offered as a next step in the pilot project following extensive safety and technology testing.

The autonomous electric shuttle is emission-free and integrates cutting-edge smart infrastructure along the route to help create safer roads for pedestrians, cyclists, transit passengers and other road users. The pilot project is being undertaken in partnership between SmartCone Technologies, AutoGuardian By SmartCone, the Town of Whitby, Region of Durham, Durham Region Transit (DRT), Metrolinx, Nokia Canada and other partners, to learn about how new technologies can contribute to safe, sustainable and connected transit and traffic operations.

Interested in riding the WAVE? Here’s what you need to know about where to get onboard and what to expect during your ride:

Route and Schedule Information

The six-kilometre shuttle route begins and ends at the Whitby GO Transit station, making a loop through the residential, recreational and industrial areas of the Port Whitby neighbourhood (in south Whitby). The shuttle operates weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  (off-peak times) to minimize traffic impact, and on weekends between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. The shuttle is free to ride during the pilot.

Full schedule information is available online – always check the website before riding, as schedule information may change due to weather. DRT On Demand service will continue to be available in the Port Whitby area throughout the pilot and can be booked through the DRT On Demand app or by calling 1-866-247-0055.

Did-you-know: The pilot is the first time in Canada that an autonomous shuttle and smart infrastructure will be fully integrated into an existing transit service – as DRT Route 300 – providing the opportunity to assess the operational, financial and customer service benefits and implications of these technologies in community transit.

Riding The Shuttle

This pilot is testing new technologies meaning the shuttle may make sudden stops during the ride. For this reason, shuttle passengers must wear seat belts at all times and must be eight years of age or older to ride the WAVE.

Passengers and operators are also required to follow all provincial and public health and safety COVID-19 measures, including the wearing of a mask or face covering. Shuttle capacity is limited to  four riders at a time.

Safety First

With safety as the top priority, the shuttle will operate at a speed of no more than 20 kilometres per hour and have a trained safety attendant on board who can manually take control of the vehicle at any time. More than 50 pieces of smart transportation infrastructure are also positioned along the route that dramatically increase road safety, including the elimination of blind spots experienced by vehicles, and use of real-time audio and visual alerts to other road users about the shuttle’s operation.

Share Your Feedback

How to improve the ridership experience is a key part of what the project team hopes to learn during the pilot. Shuttle riders are encouraged to share feedback on their experience riding the WAVE at connectwhitby.ca/RideTheWAVE.

Project Partners

The project is being supported by the Government of Ontario in funding through the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), as well as funding from project partners. The pilot will be delivered through the support and experience of local, national and international partners, including:

  • The Government of Ontario through AVIN – funding to support this technology commercialization and demonstration project
  • SmartCone – project lead, provider of smart infrastructure technology
  • AutoGuardian By SmartCone – operators of the intelligent infrastructure and autonomous shuttle
  • Town of Whitby – host community for pilot
  • Region of Durham – traffic and signal operations
  • Durham Region Transit – transit service
  • Nokia – private wireless network infrastructure provider
  • Local Motors – shuttle manufacturer
  • Metrolinx – provincial transportation agency
  • Ontario Tech University – Automotive Centre of Excellence for autonomous vehicle maintenance
  • Durham College – outreach and engagement support
  • Transport Canada – regulator for importing the autonomous vehicle shuttle
  • Ministry of Transportation – regulator for autonomous vehicle pilots in Ontario

Learn More

To learn more about the project, visit connectwhitby.ca/ridetheWAVE.

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications or 

Erin Mikaluk, Manager of Communications and Creative Services, Town of Whitby

Phone: 289.314.6913; Email: mikaluke@whitby.ca