Toronto wants to have automated vehicles everywhere by 2022
Despite the dwindling success of his GTA Tesla stores, Elon Musk may be jumping for joy in his Starship when he hears that Toronto, like other places across the world, is formally considering the potential for self-driving cars in its future transportation plans.
We're creating a plan for a future with fully/highly automated vehicles in Toronto because they have the potential to reshape our transportation system. https://t.co/76pTJujYAt #CityofTO #AVReady @a_UToronto @CAVCOE @PlugN_Drive pic.twitter.com/W166uzQXIH— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) October 16, 2019
The City says in its new Draft Automated Vehicles Tactical Plan that it wants to proactively "harness the potential of automated vehicles to achieve its broader vision."
The plan includes goals the City wants to achieve in relation to automated vehicle integration by 2050, and also proposed progress by 2022.
These progress points include identifying challenges AVs may present to Torontonians with disabilities, low-income residents, and non-Anglophone residents; studying the potential for automated public transit vehicles; researching the long-term environmental impact of AVs; and exploring business opportunities in the AV sector.
Last month, I announced that we would begin consultation on an automated shuttle trial in Toronto, using automated vehicle technology to better connect people to transit. Fill out our survey on the future of automated vehicles in Toronto and learn more at https://t.co/hM59QChQsR https://t.co/OzfVA0JXxi— John Tory (@JohnTory) October 11, 2019
Though it is true that AVs — which are ranked on a scale from 0 (no automation) to 5 (full automation) — can very likely reduce the number of serious collisions, there are a few concerns at play: like that they may lead to increased driver distraction and aren't completely fool-proof.
... in the interest of saving lives, mandate collision avoidance and automated driver assist, including a retrofit on older vehicles.. its 2019, these technologies are available, and will help save lives regardless of whether the driver drinks, texts, falls asleep, etc— Don Morgan (@donmorgan40) October 17, 2019
Some residents think that the city should address other road-related issues, such as bike lanes and pedestrian safety, before spending time and resources on examining the future of AVs.
Though it's undoubtedly exciting news to see the City looking toward the future and its technology, let's hope that the producers of self-driving cars learned at least something about AI and computer-controlled vehicles from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Carlos Bezz at the Bathurst Bridge
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