For the first time, a self-driving vehicles has driven on a publicly-accessible road in Canada.
The Record newspaper reports that a self-driving golf cart rolled around the University of Waterloo campus in Ontario, completing a circuit in front of “proud parents, curious onlookers and media”.
The report says the self-driving shuttle was developed by Varden Labs, a startup co-founded by two second-year students in mechatronics engineering — Michael Skupien (the mechanical lead) and Alex Rodrigues (the software lead).
The University president Feridun Hamdullahpur sat in the autonomous vehicle along with Rodrigues as it completed a circuit.
It’s well known that Google is testing self-driving cars on roads in California and Nevada with Michigan and Florida also allowing driverless vehicles on their roads for testing.
Skupien said Varden Labs has no intention of competing against Google, Apple and carmakers that are working on autonomous cars, but wants to work on autonomous shuttle technology.
“Rather than going on government-regulated roads where you are going at highway speeds and all that, we want to run on private roads such as university campuses, resorts, retirement communities, that kind of thing.”
The city of Waterloo is known for its technological innovation – it’s the home of BlackBerry.
Picture credit – The Record, Waterloo.