Skip navigation

Experience a Driverless Shuttle in Your Community

Experience a Driverless Shuttle in Your Community

February 4, 2019

The future of driving is coming to Greater Vancouver! If you’ve been wondering what it’s like to ride in a driverless vehicle, here is your chance to be one of the first people to experience a driverless shuttle ride in Surrey. Rides will be available at the following times and locations:

  • Surrey Civic Plaza in Surrey City Centre: February 1 to 17, 2019
  • Vancouver Olympic Village: February 23 to March 5, 2019

“This is the first time that autonomous vehicles are being considered for large-scale use in the Lower Mainland. We are pleased to showcase a driverless shuttle and use the demonstration as a way to continue the conversation with the public about all the innovative technologies planned as part of our bid,” says City of Surrey Mayor, Doug McCallum. “Autonomous shuttles are one of the main components of the City of Surrey and the City of Vancouver’s Smart Cities Challenge bid to create Canada’s first two collision-free multimodal corridors using smart mobility technologies.”

“Driverless vehicles are anticipated to eliminate one of the leading contributors to collisions – human error,” says City of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “By piloting them on these corridors, we can learn more about how they can be used throughout the region to improve safety, reduce congestion, and create safer, greener, healthier, more connected communities. In Surrey and Vancouver we believe that together, we are leading the way and setting the standard for other cities in Canada to follow for smart mobility.”

It may look like it’s something straight out of the future, but ELA – The EZ10 Driverless Shuttle is already being used in several countries around the world. ELA – short for ELectric Automation – is a fully-accessible, 100% electric vehicle with a battery life of up to 14 hours. It holds up to 12 passengers and will travel at slow speeds - about 12 km/h during the test-rides -  but has a maximum travelling speed of 40 km/h.

A driverless shuttle, or autonomous vehicle (AV), uses a combination of sensors, video cameras and computers to understand its surroundings and steer itself. In the future, city transportation planners envision using AVs to improve safety, enhance sustainability and reduce congestion on busy corridors. During the demos, the shuttle will be separated from traffic to ensure public safety. The shuttle can accommodate wheelchairs, scooters and strollers.

The ELA Shuttle will start its journey in Surrey City Centre, and following its visit, will be relocated to the City of Vancouver’s Olympic Village. A trained operator will be on board as back-up to stop the vehicle if needed and rides will take approximately five minutes. Riders can also provide feedback that will be used to learn about future potential operation of the vehicle.

Adding to the experience during the 17 day visit in Surrey, the City of Surrey will be hosting two special days that will include Western Canada’s largest outdoor escape room event on February 9th and 10th. The event promoted as:  Mission: Possible will occur on Surrey Civic Plaza adjacent to Surrey City Hall. The mission, for those accepting the challenge, will involve teams of two to five to strategize and collaborate through a series of puzzles and riddles to help their team pave the way to a smarter city. The event is a way to engage the public and educate them on smart technologies of the future centred on safe transportation systems.

To learn more about Smart Cities Challenge bid or to book your free shuttle ride visit

Smarter together

In June of this year, the cities of Vancouver and Surrey were shortlisted in Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge. The joint Smart Cities Challenge first stage application was chosen out of 130 submissions to be among the 5 finalists vying for the top category of federal funding of smart city projects designed to improve the quality of life of city residents.

The City of Vancouver and City of Surrey are now in the process of composing our final application, which is to be submitted by March 5, 2019.If selected by Infrastructure Canada to bring that idea to reality, the cities will share $50 million in prize money as part of the Smart Cities Challenge.

If chosen as the winning submission, both cities would demonstrate the path to safer, healthier, and more connected communities while reducing emissions, improving transportation efficiency, and enhancing livability in the face of rapid growth and traffic congestion.




Media Contacts:

City of Surrey

Sean Simpson, Director of IT

City of Vancouver

Corporate Communications