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Free driverless shuttle bus at UBC hits roadblock

UBC shuttle plan stalled

A proposal to bring little driverless vehicles to UBC has stalled.

The idea from BCAA was to run a couple of autonomous automobiles at the university's Vancouver campus, as is done at other universities and campuses. The plan was to have it in place at the beginning of this year, but BCAA says the pilot program has fallen apart.

"It became clear that it wasn’t possible to align the timing for each necessary aspect of the project, including regulatory approval, bus availability, and government program support," says BCAA spokesperson Sara Holland in an email.

One of the issues they faced was getting the little buses.

"The plan was to lease and, after completing due diligence to secure the right bus that met our requirements, the one we found was no longer available in Canada. Other suitable options proved difficult to coordinate with the changing project timelines," Holland notes.

Years went into the project, she adds, and what was learned could be used in future projects.

"(We) look forward to exploring other autonomous projects in the future, specifically around how autonomous technology could improve road safety," she writes.

That said, BCAA doesn't have any autonomous bus projects in the pipeline at this time.



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