Research & Consulting

Knowledge Series

Smart Vehicle Technology as a Transit Solution Commercial Considerations for Planning and Deployment

Date: February 16th, 2023
Author: Titash Choudhury, Maria Pinto, Dr. Josipa Petrunić
CUTRIC-CRITUC Knowledge Series in Low Carbon Smart Mobility Innovation
Volume 4, N0.1

This report, entitled “Smart Vehicle Shuttle Technology as a Transit Solution: Commercial Considerations for Planning and Development in Canada”, is part of CUTRIC’s digital journal, Knowledge Series in Low Carbon Smart Mobility Innovation.


The report is informed by in-depth qualitative interviews with industry and transit stakeholders and a global literature review. This report assesses the feasibility of smart vehicle shuttle technology as part of the Canadian transit system and mechanisms for how smart autonomous shuttles should be integrated across Canadian cities.


Outlining a pathway forward, this report provides technical specifications and identifies common challenges and opportunities faced by agencies wanting to deploy smart vehicle shuttle technologies in Canada. In-depth interview results with transit stakeholders and industry leaders along with results from a global literature review demonstrate that autonomous shuttles are a viable transit solution in Canada.

Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada's zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness - Vol. 3, No. 2

Date: November 23, 2022
Author: Titash Choudhury, aniket base, parvathy pillai, dr. josipa petrunic
volume 3

The Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada’s zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness Report #2 is part of CUTRIC’s Knowledge Series, and provides an update on the Canadian zero-emission bus (ZEB) landscape. The first Canadian ZEB Database™ report [1] was published in June 2022. It used data directly provided by transit agencies and from the public domain to establish the overall readiness of provinces and municipalities in decarbonizing their fleets. CUTRIC continues to report the advances provinces and municipalities have made under the Canadian ZEB Database™. 


This second report highlights the most current status of each ZEB technology to September 2022, and forecasts technology adoption to determine whether transit agencies and municipalities will meet Canada’s ZEB targets. It also outlines the next steps and limitations of the Canadian ZEB Database™. This report is classified by the following technologies: Battery electric buses (BEBs) are powered by electricity stored in rechargeable on-board battery pack. Fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) require a hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) to charge an on-board battery that powers an on-board electric motor. Compressed natural gas (CNG) buses are fuelled with a blend of CNG and renewable natural gas (RNG) that is made by using refined or upgraded anaerobically generated biogas in place of traditional fossil fuels. Autonomous shuttles are an emerging class of shared mobility for first kilometre/last-kilometre application in local municipal systems. In-depot and on-route charging infrastructure support the operation of electric buses “



Buy one report for $129 or get Report #1 and #2 for $159


CUTRIC National Smart Vehicle Joint Procurement Initiative: Rout∑.i™ Predictive Modelling of Autonomous Shuttle Performance and Passenger-Carrying Capacity of First-km/Last-km Solutions: CUTRIC-ACATS Project Final Report

Date: January 2021
Authors: Dr. Mahmood Nesheli, Dr. Elnaz Abotalebi, Dr. roberto sardenberg, dr. yutian zhao, shervin backtiari, parvathy pillai, & dr. josipa petrunic

Transport Canada created the Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System (ACATS) program to help prepare the country for connected and automated vehicle (CAV) deployments on Canadian roads.

The ACATS program distributed C$2.9 million across 15 different organizations to support: (1) research, studies and technology evaluations; (2) the development of codes, standards and guidance materials; and (3) capacity-building and knowledge-sharing activities.

Renewable Natural Gas as a Complementary Solution to Decarbonizing Transit

Date: June 30, 2022
Authors: Dr. Roberto Sardenberg, aniket basu, parvathy pillai, and josipa petrunic

ZEB Conference Poster

Public transit is one of the most common modes of transportation in big cities. These vehicles are predominantly powered by fossil fuels that are most often diesel. Diesel is one of the most polluting fossil fuels and consists of an entire fuel supply chain that is carbon intensive.

Compressed natural gas (CNG) buses operating using renewable natural gas (RNG) can be cleaner and cheaper to operate than BEBs and FCEBs. CNG buses have already been disseminated in the transit industry with the utilization of fossil fuel natural gas. If those buses are powered with RNG, transit can be simultaneously cleaner and cheaper. The RNG fuel has the potential of being zero-carbon or even carbon-negative depending on the methods of production because its production can offset both the tailpipe emissions and the emissions of other human activities, as explained in this report. 

New Mobility and Autonomous Vehicles: Impacts on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Metro Vancouver

Date:march 2021
Authors: Elnaz abotalebi, mahmood nasheli, parvathy pillai, & josipa petrunic

Our new report for the David Suzuki Foundation explores the opportunity for Metro Vancouver policy-makers to build on the soon-to-be-released Transport 2050 plan by advancing autonomous vehicles as emissions-reducing and mobility-improving tools.

Best Practices and Key Considerations for Transit Electrification and Charging Infrastructure Deployment to Deliver Predictable, Reliable, and Cost-Effective Fleet Systems

Date: June 2020
Authors: Dr. Josipa Petrunic, Dr. Elnaz Abotalebi & Dr. Abhishek Raj

This report summarizes results from an extensive literature review of different transit electrification deployments and experiences, including service provider insights, charging standards overviews and electric bus deployment data both in Canada and globally. Additionally, pilot projects in Canadian cities, as well as each province’s and territory’s readiness for transit electrification, are reviewed in this report, along with an overview of policies and incentives facilitating zero-emission bus (ZEB) adoption and funding opportunities to support fleet electrification.

In sum, the results of a comprehensive review of the Canadian landscape in terms of fleet electrification, charging deployments and utility strategies is combined here with results from detailed semi-structured interviews with Canadian and North American transit agencies, as well as semi-structured focus group consultation outputs and outcomes from a series of semi-structured conference panel sessions.

This study offers a summary of best practices in the form of recommendations to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) in its pursuit of best practices for transit electrification and charging infrastructure deployment to deliver predictable, reliable and cost-effective electrified fleet systems to Canadians in the near- to mid-term future.

Electrical Utility Strategies for Transportation Electrification: Canadian Market Scan & North American Case Studies

Date: October 2021
Author: Janet Eby, Leah Geller, Ted Wojcinski, Josipa Petrunic

The Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) is proud to announce the publication of the first-ever comprehensive review and assessment of Canadian electrical utilities’ transportation electrification strategies

This report provides a full market scan of strategies launched by Canadian electrical utilities, as well as a review of electrification case studies and best practices across North America, including legislation and regulation that promotes utility involvement.

Rail Innovation in Canada: Top 10 Technology Areas for Passenger and Freight Rail

Date: June 2020
Author: Dr. Elnaz Abotalebi, Dr. Yutian Zhao, Abhishek Raj, Dr. Josipa Petrunic

The main objective of the clean rail innovation study conducted by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) for Transport Canada is to identify the “Top 10” feasible technology theme areas that will build Canada’s future passenger and freight mobility system.

The overall goal is to conduct a preliminary scan of the state of the industry in Canada today—from both passenger and freight perspectives—in terms of technology innovation that Transport Canada could ultimately use to guide its medium- to long-term research, development and deployment (RD&D) efforts.