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Auto-pod shuttle aims to fill a gap in Ottawa’s transportation scene

"The Ottawa-based Canadian arm of U.K. technology firm Aurrigo plans to demonstrate its autonomous four-person shuttle at the Ottawa International Airport later this year, Capital Current has learned.

Aurrigo, which set up shop in Ottawa just more than a year ago, claims the driverless shuttle will change the way people travel.

The vehicle’s practical speed is between eight and 11 kilometers per hour, and it would be used on a “first- and last-mile transportation” basis, according to Chris Keefe, Aurrigo’s vice-president of autonomous programs.

“The easiest way to explain first- and last-mile transportation is that once you’re at the airport parking lot, our pod will bring you to the terminal,” said Keefe. “We’re aiming to showcase the four-person vehicle at the airport this year if their schedule permits.”

Airport officials are “excited at the possibility of collaboration” with Aurrigo, according to Krista Kealey, vice-president of communications and public affairs with the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

“We’re excited to work with Aurrigo on a trial. It won’t involve bringing members of the public to their terminal quite yet,” said Kealey. “We think working with them will involve a lot of learning, especially operating in the snow and different weather conditions.”

Aurrigo aims to “fill a gap in transportation,” according to Keefe. A range of potential users — from people with physical disabilities who need to travel beyond the limits of current transit stations, to post-secondary students who need to cross-campus — will eventually use these pods, said Keefe."


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