Worker critically injured in driverless bus collision

Cause of incident still unknown

Worker critically injured in driverless bus collision

One worker was critically injured when a driverless bus crashed into a tree in Whitby in Ontario Thursday, according to reports.

The vehicle – known both as Olli and the WAVE (for Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric) and operated by Durham Region Transit in Whitby – crashed on Watson Street, near the Whitby GO station it services. Durham police said the collision happened at 4 p.m., according to a CTV News report.

The male operator was badly hurt and was taken to a trauma centre, where he remains in life-threatening condition, according to reports.

"There was one operator on board," said Acting Sgt. George Tudos, according to CBC. "No pedestrians or any passengers so that one person did suffer critical injuries."

According to Durham Region Transit, the worker on board can manually take control of the vehicle at any time if required.

The cause of the crash is still unknown.

"We are doing a parallel investigation with the Ministry of Labour to try to determine exactly what happened," Tudos said.

In November, a semi-truck driver died while a bus driver was injured in a fiery crash on Highway 16 near McBride in British Columbia.


Some people shared their thoughts about the incident in Whitby.

“This is a bad idea from the start,” said Shellina Holloway via Facebook.

“I hope the operator of this self-driving bus is going to be OK,” said Susan Forbes, also via Facebook.

When Uber decided in 2016 to retire its fleet of self-driving Ford Fusion cars in favour of Volvo sport utility vehicles, it also chose to scale back on one notable piece of technology: the safety sensors used to detect objects in the road. That decision resulted in a self-driving vehicle with more blind spots than its own earlier generation of autonomous cars, as well as those of its rivals, according to a report released in 2018.

In October, a 73-year-old male taxi cab driver died following a shooting in Scarborough, Ont. Previously, a General Motors Canada male worker died at the company’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant in Ontario after a workplace incident.