Ontario is launching a new pilot to allow for the testing of automated vehicles on Ontario roads.Automated vehicles are driverless or self-driving vehicles that are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates. Automated and connected vehicle technologies have the potential to help improve fuel efficiency as well as reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and driver distraction.
Beginning on January 1, 2016, Ontario will lead Canada as the first province to test automated vehicles and related technology on-road. Currently there are nearly 100 companies and institutions involved in the connected vehicle and automated vehicle industry in the province. The pilot will enable those companies to conduct research and development in Ontario rather than in competing jurisdictions, as well as support opportunities to bring automated vehicles to market.
The province is also pledging an additional $500,000 in funding to the Ontario Centres of Excellence Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle Program, in addition to the $2.45 million in funding recently provided. The program brings academic institutions and business together to promote and encourage innovative transportation technology.
Ensuring Ontario’s place as a world leader in the auto, transportation, information and communications technology sectors are part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.