As the U.S. government mulls guidelines for autonomous vehicles that often don’t consider heavy trucks, a Canadian government panel has concluded that our neighbor to the north is ill-prepared for the arrival of autonomous and connected vehicles.
Canada’s Senate Committee on Transport and Communications delivered 16 recommendations to help prepare for the technology to come, calling for such things as a national strategy and cybersecurity measures to maintain public safety and confidence.
“We are on the cusp of a transportation revolution, and Canada must be ready. Cities were ill-prepared when ride sharing came to Canada. We cannot afford to repeat this mistake,” said Senator Dennis Dawson, deputy chairman of the committee.
“It is not a matter of if, but when more sophisticate automated and connected vehicles will arrive on Canadian roads,” concludes the related Driving Change report, which paints pictures of computer-controlled cars weaving in and out of traffic, and even terrorists taking control of vehicles from afar.
And the committee notes that some experts believe self-driving transportation could take root in urban areas in as few as 10 to 15 years.
Noting the potential of commercial applications such as those in mining, farming, and forestry, Driving Change also references potential job losses for truck and courier service drivers, tow truck drivers, and more.
While the technology is advancing quickly, there is a nod to widespread commercial applications not changing overnight, quoting Wendy Doyle, co-chairwoman of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrator’s Automated Vehicles Working Group.
“If we look at the commercial industry, because of the complex task of moving those large loads, it will take technology a long time to replace all the requirements a driver is required to do,” she told the committee during a presentation.