Canadian Senate committee urges action on driverless cars

Driverless cars may already be a reality, but Canada is ill-prepared for their arrival, according to a new report from the country’s Senate Committee on Transport and Communications.

In its report – Driving Change: Technology and the future of the automated vehicle – the committee says that automated and connected vehicles are the future of transportation.

However, after studying automated and connected vehicle technologies and assessing the risks and rewards they offer, the committee believes that a coordinated national strategy is necessary if Canadians are to benefit from these technologies.

The report makes a number of recommendations to the federal government to help Canada prepare successfully for the advent of driverless cars.

In particular, senators urge government departments to start laying the groundwork for policies that will encourage the responsible development of driverless technologies in Canada.

The report also argues that strong cybersecurity measures and rigorous oversight will be necessary to ensure personal information from connected and automated vehicles is securely held and not exploited.

“This study should serve as a roadmap for the government,” said Senator David Tkachuk, Chair of the committee. “It is essential for Canada to be well-prepared for the fast-approaching future of transportation.”

“We are on the cusp of a transportation revolution and Canada must be ready,” said Senator Dennis Dawson, Deputy Chair of the committee. “Cities were ill-prepared when ride sharing came to Canada; we cannot afford to repeat this mistake.”