Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart (left) and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum (right) in front of an ELA autonomous shuttle

Experience a driverless shuttle in your community

ELectric Automation (ELA) visits Surrey and Vancouver as part of the Smart Cities Challenge

Driverless vehicles are anticipated to eliminate one of the leading contributors to collisions – human error.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart

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. Rides will take place at: 

  • Surrey Civic Plaza in Surrey City Centre: February 1 to 18
  • Vancouver Olympic Village: February 23 to March 3

 Advance bookings for Vancouver are now full. We allow five advance bookings per ride, but the shuttle can hold up to 12 people. Come as a walk-on during operating hours.

About the shuttle

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 about 12 km/h during the demo 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. 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 to stop the vehicle if needed, and rides will take approximately five minutes. 

About Smarter Together

In June 2018, 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 five 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, 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.

Learn more about Smart Cities Challenge  

Quotes from the mayors

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum

“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.”

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart

“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.”