ELA in Beaumont - May 1, 2019

ELA is coming to Beaumont!

By now, you will have seen a lot of pylons, and, some signage being installed along 50 Street. ELA (ELectric Autonomous) is coming to Beaumont.

 *** For complete info and updates, please follow this link: (https://www.beaumont.ab.ca/583/Autonomous-Vehicle-Pilot) ***


Once there….please click around…you’ll find Background, FAQ’s and some project specifics. Also, please stay tuned for an upcoming Facebook Live Event hosted by our Mayor to dive into more questions residents might have!

Where has ELA been so far??

ELA has been busy in Western Canada. Follow the link, or you can please see a quick summary below:

*** http://www.ridewithela.ca/past-deployments/ ***

-          Calgary Zoo/Telus Spark (4476 in 33 days)

-          Blatchford in Edmonton (881 in 11 days)

-          Old Strathcona in Edmonton (1016 passengers in 6 days)

-          Chapelle Gardens in Edmonton (406 Passengers in 7 days)

-          Grey Cup in Edmonton (117 passengers in 2 days)

-          U of A Testing Area in Edmonton (53 passengers in 17 days)

-          Reynolds Museum (313 passengers in 5 days)

-          Surrey Civic Plaza in Surrey British Columbia (1661 passengers in 17 days)

-          Olympic Village in Vancouver (2826 passengers in 10 days)

-          http://www.ridewithela.ca/past-deployments/

What does it take to host ELA in Beaumont?

Well, it takes a few things…including:

1.       Partners – This doesn’t happen without Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) and ELA itself.

2.       Policy/Regulations – Alberta Transportation – Let’s not lose track of the fact that policy and regulations for autonomous vehicles in mixed traffic use did not exist in Alberta. Route selection was of the utmost importance to all parties (Alberta Transportation, PWT and Beaumont).

3.       Resources – Council approved $200,000 funding of the Economic Development Strategic Innovation Program (see link below). Please know that our Economic Development Team is working had to secure sponsorship to offset costs associated with this program.


4.       Commitment – Beaumont cannot continue to do things the same way we always have and expect different results….you have heard this a lot from council….because it is true.

What is ELA to Beaumont?

Let’s start with what ELA is not…..ELA IS NOT PART OF OUR TRANSIT SYSTEM !!

In my view, ELA is:

1.       A Pilot Project – Canada’s first ever pilot of autonomous public transportation in mixed traffic use.

2.       A Partnership – between PWT, Beaumont and Alberta Transportation.

3.       Innovation – A municipality in Canada was bound to be the first to test an Autonomous Shuttle in mixed traffic use. Why not Beaumont?!?!?!? Our Economic Development Team worked hard to bring this opportunity to Beaumont.

4.       Economic Development – There are many aspects around Economic Development…in my own words…we need:

a.       Awareness – where is Beaumont, who lives there and why should we invest there? ELA will bring awareness to Beaumont.

b.       Retail Space and Land – in order to attract future investment….these needs are top of the list. Our Economic Development Team is working everyday sell that Beaumont is Open for Business!

c.       Entrepreneurs – and, guess what…Beaumont has tonnes! Think about the huge number of home-based businesses in Beaumont….Entrepreneurs live here!

d.       Location – well, Beaumont is located in a great spot! With close proximity to the Airport…large investment in Leduc County lands and proximity to Edmonton…Beaumont is well situated for investors.

Where is ELA going?

The route that ELA will be taking is the outcome of the partnership between PWT, Alberta Transportation and Beaumont. Again, this hasn’t been done before in Canada and you have to start somewhere…RIGHT ?!?!?

Right now, the following link from the Beaumont website indicates the route:

*** https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1rMr139-lWxHoNPf9YkkDyVx-B0qgt3PK&ll=53.359330080148105%2C-113.41169771248746&z=16 ***



Watch the City of Beaumont Facebook Page for the timing of the upcoming Facebook Live Event hosted by Mayor Stewart.


*** Thank-you Beaumont! ***

Steven vanNieuwkerk