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Is Ontario ready for autonomous vehicles?

"Is Ontario ready for autonomous vehicles? More importantly, is Toronto, Ontario’s (and Canada’s) most populous city, prepared for a self-driving future?

Traffic congestion is a problem that afflicts all big cities — Toronto more than most — so it’s an important and timely question, a question (partially) answered by a new study by the Toronto Region Board of Trade and Borden Ladner Gervais called Getting Ready for Autonomy. In actual fact, the paper — subtitled AVs for Safe, Clean and Inclusive Mobility in the Toronto Region — focuses on what Toronto must do to be ready for what the researchers obviously see as an impending autonomous automotive future.

It’s an impressive bit of research, one of the most comprehensive details of both benefits and tribulations that will face a robotic automotive future. So, on the one hand, while Getting Ready for Autonomy makes a convincing case for autonomous vehicles aiding mobility for seniors — whose numbers are to swell in the region by 133 percent by 2041 — it’s not shy about noting that some 113,190 (2016 census) people in various types of jobs will be threatened by self-driving cars and trucks. The authors also make claims for the reduction in congestion and emissions that (electric-powered) AVs will engender — a little too optimistic, I would state — but, again, don’t shy away from noting that, amongst other regulatory changes that will be required, the question of who is responsible for insuring a robot-driven automobile remains one of the most problematic."

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