Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric (WAVE) shuttle

In 2021, Durham Region and DRT partnered with the Town of Whitby, SmartCone Technologies, Metrolinx and other project sponsors to launch an autonomous electric shuttle pilot project aided by intelligent transportation infrastructure. 

The project, which was supported through funding from the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), demonstrated how new service models and clean technologies can help make transit safer and more sustainable in Durham. 

Known as the Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric (WAVE) shuttle, this pilot was the longest of its kind in Canada, operating on a six-kilometre loop between the Whitby GO Transit station and the Port Whitby area. More than 70 pieces of intelligent infrastructure—including sensors, and visual and audio signals—were deployed along the route; providing advanced notice of shuttle operations to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, shuttle passengers and other drivers. This was a Canadian first for autonomous vehicle deployments of this type, and it aligns with Durham Region's Vision Zero strategy to make our roads as safe as possible. 

The WAVE pilot concluded in February 2022. It was an opportunity to garner valuable learnings on the technology capabilities and limitations, weather, accessibility, insurance and policy related to the integration of autonomous vehicles into public transit. More than 250 passengers had the opportunity to ride the WAVE shuttle over the course of the four-month pilot, with a total of 2,390 kilometres driven in both autonomous and manual mode (including set up time). 

Visit connectwhitby.ca/RideTheWAVE for more information about the autonomous vehicle and a full list of project partners.