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Press Release: HDI Global enters the autonomous vehicle sector following deal with AutoGuardian

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

HDI Global is increasing its support for the development of the Autonomous

Vehicle & Systems ecosystem.

Hannover / Toronto / Whitby, 8 September 2021 The newly launched Digital Solutions team at HDI Global SE is pleased to announce its first partnership within the autonomous technology segment. The partnership with Smartcone Technologies Inc. and its AV operations subsidiary AutoGuardian, relates to two separate low-speed autonomous shuttle projects due to commence road testing in the coming months.

The Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric shuttle – WAVE – (photo) is an upcoming Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) trial supported by the Government of Ontario via the AVIN R&D Partnership Fund, the Town of Whitby, Region of Durham, Durham Region Transit (DRT) and Metrolinx. It will transport passengers in a Local Motors zero emission electric autonomous shuttle called Olli 1.0. The trial will operate 7 days per week and have only a minor variation between weekday and weekend hours. The journey will start and end its fixed loop route at the Whitby GO station and make several stops around Port Whitby. The self-driving shuttle is due to be tested on Whitby streets shortly, followed by tests including public passengers later this year. The trial also integrates with cutting-edge smart infrastructure along the route promoting safer roads for pedestrians, cyclists, transit passengers and other road users.

The West Rouge Automated Shuttle trial, a partnership between The City of Toronto, Toronto Transit Commission and Metrolinx, will use the Local Motors Olli 2.0, also a zero-emissions electric automated shuttle. This shuttle will start from Rouge Hill GO Station and run a fixed-route loop making stops in the neighbourhood, at the West Rouge Community Center and Rouge National Urban Park. The schedule will be tailored to connect riders to and from peak period GO Trains. Local residents will begin to see the automated vehicle conducting on-road testing in September, with passenger services beginning later in the fall.

Meryem Seyyar (photo), Head of Digital Solutions commented: “This is the perfect time for HDI Global to take a lead and increase its support for the development of the Autonomous Vehicle & Systems ecosystem. AV’s will undoubtedly be a significant part of everyone’s future and the sooner we can establish our expertise and process within the space, the better we will be able to serve our partners moving forward.”

Digital Solutions is a newly launched innovative insurance team within HDI Global SE. The team will form the core of an HDI specialized underwriting unit focused on addressing insurance solutions for partners within the Autonomous Vehicle & Systems, Micro-Mobility, Performance Warranty and On-line Digital Technology spaces. Matthew Hammer, Underwriting Manager Autonomy & Technology commented: “The team is focused on underwriting innovative solutions for innovative partners around the globe. The partnership between HDI, AutoGuardian and Smartcone is a very positive start and could not have come together without strong collaboration from our local underwriting expertise in Canada. We look forward to supporting our partners as they continue to grow and fulfil ambitions towards a safe, smart & autonomous future in both Canada and the US.”

Tenille Houston CEO AutoGuardian added: “Autonomous Vehicle operations offer a multitude of benefits such as efficiency, sustainability, and accessibility to the world of tomorrow. I am confident these two pilots are just the beginning for AutoGuardian and will lead to several additional AV operational projects in Canada and beyond. These first two trials would not be possible without an insurance partner like HDI. Their team has devoted resources specifically to the AV market and they have been flexible to our changing needs. It goes without saying, we are now excited to focus on live operations and seeing our shuttles move people around Whitby and Toronto.”


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