Documents

Autonomous buses and minibuses

The pilot project for autonomous buses and minibuses, authorized by order of the Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification on August 10, 2018, aims to allow autonomous buses and minibuses to be operated on certain public roads in Québec on a trial basis.

Any number of test projects that aim to test the use of autonomous buses and minibuses can be carried out as part of this pilot project. These test projects will serve to assess:

A committee made up of representatives from the Ministère des Transports (MTQ) and the SAAQ will monitor and evaluate each test project from the standpoint of their respective spheres of authority.

How to participate in the pilot project

Any stakeholder (vehicle manufacturer, distributor or operator) who wishes to take part in the pilot project and operate an autonomous bus or minibus on a territory subject to the Highway Safety Code must email a test project application to vehiculesautonomes@transports.gouv.qc.caCe lien ouvrira votre logiciel de messagerie par défaut.

For the test project application to be accepted, the following requirements must be met:

  1. The test project application must:
    • include a description of the test project
    • describe the test project’s goals
    • specify the number of vehicles that will be put into operation and include a description of the vehicles (make, model, automation level, operational design domain (ODD), etc.)
    • specify where (on what territory) the test project will be carried out and include a description of the route
    • describe the steps that will be taken to ensure the test project does not disrupt the existing road infrastructure
    • describe the training provided to the vehicle’s drivers
    • describe the mechanical inspection program
    • set out the safety measures proposed to ensure the road is shared safely with other users
    • specify the project’s duration
  2. The applicant must be the owner of the vehicle, or recognized as such, for vehicle registration purposes
  3. The applicant must provide all the information required in order to establish that the vehicle is safe
  4. Where the applicant is an operator, the applicant must provide a written statement from the manufacturer authorizing the applicant to operate the vehicle as part of a test project
  5. The applicant must hold liability insurance for property damage in the amount of $1,000,000
  6. The applicant must hold all the permits, licences and authorizations required to carry out the activities proposed under the test project

The joint MTQ-SAAQ committee will analyze each application and request any additional information that may be required in order to rule on whether or not the test project qualifies for the pilot project, and on whether the vehicle and proposed route are safe.

For a complete overview of the pilot project’s criteria, refer to the ministerial order for autonomous buses and minibuses in the “Laws and regulations” section below.

For more information about the procedure you must follow if you wish to take part in the pilot project for autonomous buses and minibuses, or if you have any questions about the use of autonomous vehicles on a trial basis in Québec, please send us an email at vehiculesautonomes@transports.gouv.qc.caCe lien ouvrira votre logiciel de messagerie par défaut.

Test projects

Candiac

Navya Autonomous shuttlesThe first test project carried out as part of the pilot project for autonomous buses and minibuses in Québec took place in Candiac and was implemented by Keolis Canada Innovation, S.E.C. This company used an autonomous minibus manufactured by Navya, which was operated at all times by a duly trained driver. The minibus operated along Boulevard Montcalm Nord, between Rue de Verre and Boulevard Marie-Victorin, which represents a round trip of approximately 2 km.

The autonomous minibus operated at a low speed, had a seating capacity of 11, and could take on up to 15 passengers. It took 9 to 10 minutes to ride the complete route.

Montréal

Transdev Autonomous shuttlesDuring the summer of 2019, Transdev, in partnership with the city of Montréal and the manufacturer EasyMile, implemented two autonomous shuttles on a route with a round-trip distance of 2.8 km. The route connected the Olympic Park and the Maisonneuve Market.

The vehicles operated at an average speed of 13 km/h and made the trip in about 10 minutes. Service was free and offered from Mondays to Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The project ended on August 4, 2019.