Is Canada Ready for Autonomous Vehicles?

The autonomous vehicle development race is in full swing, and raises many questions from both the general public and government authorities. Are we ready to welcome self-driving cars on our roads, surrounding us in high-speed traffic?

The quick answer is no. Autonomous vehicles must be tested and evaluated on our roads, in our climatic conditions and following our road sign network. The province of Ontario is the first to authorize a pilot project that allows testing of self-driving cars. Since January 1st, 2016, testing of such vehicles and related technologies has begun.

Automotive manufacturers say that autonomous cars will reduce fuel consumption, harmful emissions, road congestion and the number of accidents. Obviously, driver distraction plays an important role in all of these aspects, and reducing the number of distracted drivers on the roads likely represents the biggest advantage of autonomous cars.

The province also pledged almost three million dollars to the Ontario Centres of Excellence Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle Program. The latter unites academic institutions and businesses in order to promote and encourage innovative transport technologies. So, Ontario is slowly preparing itself for the integration of self-driving cars and according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, by 2040, 75 % of all the vehicles on the road will be automated.

Not only does the country and each province have to adapt its road infrastructure for the arrival of autonomous vehicles – and vice-versa –, but traffic laws and legislations must also be revised. And let’s not forget about insurance in addition to the legal responsibility of the drivers and the manufacturers who build these vehicles.

In short, although automakers are promising to bring autonomous vehicles to the market by 2020, we’re far from ready to massively accept them on our roads. However, they will arrive sooner or later.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

TechnologyThe First Autonomous Cars
Although the very first developments in the area of self-driving cars occurred in the 1920s and 1930s, it wasn’t until the end of the 1980s that we saw the first driverless ride. This trailblazer was the Navlab 1, a Chevrolet van developed by Carnegie Mellon University. It was equipped with …
NewsCalifornia Regulates The Autonomous Car
We know that California is a hotbed for new automotive technologies. Not only has the Golden State seen the birth of novel automotive automakers (Tesla and Fisker, among others), but it’s also home to more than a few high-tech startups (like Google ) that are working on stuff we thought …
TechnologyV2V Technology: The Future of Autonomous Vehicles
Currently, autonomous cars don’t need anyone—or just about. They can drive themselves and require very little input from the driver. In the future, however, driverless cars won’t be alone in their own little world. Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology promises exciting advances. For example, tomorrow’s cars will use a cellular connection to …
Technology/Autonomous VehiclesAn Autonomous Mercedes-Benz Convoy
Mercedes-Benz, like a lot of other manufacturers, wants to be the first to offer an autonomous vehicle. Not only are they working on furthering technologies in their passenger cars, but the German automaker is also using its truck division to explore other avenues. One of these possible applications could be …
NewsAutonomous Cars in Ontario: One Year Later
Last year, Ontario announced legislation changes to become the first Canadian province to allow testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads. Since most of the country’s automotive industry is located in Ontario, it makes sense for them to try and accommodate these latest technologies. The province also wanted to try …
Technology/Autonomous VehiclesAn Autonomous Bus by Mercedes-Benz
In addition to autonomous cars and trucks, Mercedes-Benz went one step further by showing an autonomous bus in front of a crowd in Amsterdam. The vehicle completed a 19.3-km course, went through tunnels and intersections and negotiated tricky corners without a single input from the driver. The Future Bus Concept …