Toronto automated cars

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.

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.

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.

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.

And others have noted that the condition of Toronto roads may mean disaster if AVs are introduced.

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.

Lead photo by

Carlos Bezz at the Bathurst Bridge


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