November 14, 2017 by Corinne Lynds
VAUGHAN, ON, Nov. 9, 2017 /CNW/ – Premier Kathleen Wynne has signalled a strong commitment by the province in the development of self-driving vehicles by launching the $80-million Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) in Stratford, says the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO).
“Premier Wynne, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca and the Ontario government have proven that they are committed to the future,” says Andy Manahan, executive director of RCCAO. “This announcement is a worthwhile initiative. There is a lot we can learn from conducting pilot tests at AVIN, but there is more to be done to usher in a new era for our roads and for improving mobility.”
RCCAO recently commissioned the report “Ontario Must Prepare for Vehicle Automation: How Governance Can Influence its Outcome.” The report, which was written by systems engineer and futurist Bern Grush, says that self-driving vehicles eventually will replace entire fleets of taxis and buses in the form of driverless robo-taxis and robo-shuttles. Grush proposes a governance system which would use analytics, incorporating digital tools to set a subsidy and pricing system, optimize distribution and consider social performance of commercial fleets.
These factors should be accounted for as the province and the federal government take important steps to facilitate the adoption of vehicle automation, Manahan says.
He points to Ford Motor Co. spending $1 billion to take over a robotics start-up earlier this year as part of its plan to have a driverless vehicle on the road by 2021. Ontario should pay close attention to moves by other jurisdictions and automakers to ensure it becomes a global leader in automotive innovation and intelligence, Manahan says.
“Ultimately, Ontario could mitigate traffic congestion through the sharing economy and be a global leader in deployment of self-driving cars. The government must be very forward looking as it makes key decisions on future infrastructure and transit investments.”
SOURCE Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario