ELA, Edmonton’s electric autonomous vehicle, doesn’t need a fuel or a driver or even a pedal and steering wheel.  

As was seen at the project’s launch Tuesday, ELA does it all on her own.

The electric vehicle is programmed to follow a system of paths at 40 km/hour. GPS, cameras and laser technology help the vehicle navigate its surroundings.

The vehicle’s first day on the roads wasn’t without its hiccups, however.

ELA appeared to stall twice—though that’s not how the developing company describes it.

“It's not that it stalled. It's that it's consciously making a decision that it wants to stop and make sure that it's safe before it moves forward again,” said Dan Finley, vice president of Business Development Pacific Western Group of Companies.

Finley said the vehicle likely experienced a localization issue, and that the company continues to monitor its every move. The vehicle’s data can be downloaded and examined by developers later.

“That's exactly why we're doing this. We're testing this technology, this vehicle, in this climate, this location,” Finley said.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and councilors were among the first to take a ride Tuesday.

“Some people will say these will be everywhere in five years,” said Iveson. “I think that's a bit ambitious. Other people will say 30. I think it'll be somewhere in between and we need to plan today for whenever that's going to happen.”

The vehicle is making three tours in Edmonton, leaving from Blatchford from October 9-16, Chappelle Gardens from October 17-21, and Old Strathcona from October 22 to November 4.

With files from Sarah Plowman