Autonomous Vehicle Testing On the Fairways

Instead of gas or electric golf carts, it was innovative new autonomous ‘pods’ that were seen travelling the cart paths of The Marshes Golf Course over a one-week period this past August. Together with the Brookstreet Hotel, the facilities hosted the first Ottawa L5 trial of this exciting new trans­portation technology, enabling the public to experience a Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) operating in autonomous mode within a safe yet varied environment.

The Ottawa L5 “Ride the Pod” trial, an important early step in the journey to safe, proven autonomous vehicles for a variety of applications, was coordinated by local economic development agency Invest Ottawa, autonomous pioneer Aurrigo, the Kanata North Business Association and other partners. More than 350 members of the local community were invited to ride in the self-driving vehicles over a custom route around the golf course. The route was designed to test and showcase the capabilities of the latest technologies, and included hills, a tunnel, narrow tree-covered bridges, and many twists and turns.

“What a great project to host here at Brookstreet and The Marshes,” said Nyle Kelly, General Manager of the two properties. “The autonomous Ride the Pod trial was a first for Kanata North. It was truly a unique and enjoyable experience, and I’m pleased that the public, perhaps not surprisingly, showed such interest. The hundreds of seats available for the test were claimed almost overnight.”

Following the trial, Brookstreet hosted CAV19, the 2019 Connected and Autonomous Vehicles conference. The event brought together hundreds of Canadian and global stakeholders from the CAV ecosystem to discuss current and emerging technologies driving the connected and autonomous vehicles industry forward at considerable pace. We certainly look forward to the next exciting developments on this journey …