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Who is Leading Self-Driving Technology in Canada?

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Who is Leading Self-Driving Technology in Canada?

 It’s the Ontario Ministry of Transportation that has taken the leap and is enabling self-driving cars to roam our roads starting next January 1st. In a test of automated vehicles and their related technologies, the pilot project plans to make Ontario a leader in this disruptive technology. After studying other jurisdictions’ laws, the Ministry’s pilot project will evaluate and test autonomous vehicles under safe conditions before making them available to the public at large.
Ontario’s Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca indicated his enthusiasm by stating recently at the University of Waterloo that “For Ontario, the benefits of being part of automated vehicle innovation are clear. In order to compete, Ontario needs to be consistent with the approach of U.S. jurisdictions."
How We Imagined Cars of the Future
Take a look at how we imagined automobiles of the future might look like, just a few years ago:

Ontario Pledging Funds to Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle Program

In addition to leading the pilot project, the province is donating $500,000 to the Ontario Centres of Excellence Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle Program, which unites businesses with academia to further develop technologies involves in transportation. Ontario selected the University of Waterloo to announce that autonomous vehicles are coming to Ontario roads, because it hosts WAVELab, or the Waterloo Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory. WAVELab has worked together with robotics companies to develop both ground and aerial autonomous vehicles. In addition, a startup called Varden Labs works on self-driving vehicles and is headed up by former Waterloo students.
Currently in the U.S., autonomous car experimentation is allowed in California, Nevada and Michigan, with regulations varying from state to state. There are ten different companies who are now allowed to test their autonomous vehicles on their roads, including Tesla, Google, BMW, and Nissan.

What Are the Implications of Going Driverless?

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No-one really know what a society of driverless cars will be like. People point out that many individuals’ lives will improve, and the elderly will be able to get around much more easily than they can now. Disabled people and teenagers who often rely on caregivers’ rides will have much more independence and mobility. Life will be safer for pedestrians and in general, all people will be safer than before when they were drivers.
How people will actually use driverless cars, though, is still up for discussion, and there are as many different opinions on what a driverless car society will look like as there will be driverless cars. Will the roads and highways be packed with autonomous vehicles, or will there be more green space developed because there will be less cars and less roadways necessary? Will more people become urbanites, or will more people live in the outskirts or countryside once getting around by driverless car becomes easily available? One thing everyone agrees on is that there will be less need for parking lots in an autonomous automobile society. If you call a service for your car ride, you won’t have to worry about where to park a car – and if you own your own driverless car, you can just send it home and tell it to come back later and pick you up.

Benefits of Self-Driving Vehicles
Some of the future benefits of autonomous cars could be:
•    Reduction in carbon emissions from vehicles
•    Less car crashes, because collision avoidance will be in effect
•    Increased highway capacity
•    Reduced traffic congestion
•    More mobility for people who currently cannot drive
•    Time savings
•    Convenience
•    Reduction in stress

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