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How Will Self-Driving Affect Canada?

Autonomous vehicles will have long-term impacts on how Canadians live their everyday lives.

Autonomous cars, also known as self-driving, are vehicles that are operated without any human control. This revolution in transportation might seem ahead of our time, however, the Canadian automotive industry is expected to have these cars in commercial production by 2021.

Over the last few years, expansions in technology have put Canada on the map as global leaders in the self-driving industry. With the anticipation that these cars will help protect the environment and promote economic growth, they have been the key area of study at some of Canada’s top universities, businesses, and innovative suppliers.

There’s no question that autonomous driving will impact multiple aspects of Canada’s economy, but the most drastic changes will be rooted in these three areas:

1) Jobs

An increase of autonomous vehicles on the road could mean a decrease in driving occupations – cab drivers, bus drivers, valets, etc. will most likely be replaced with vehicles that can pilot themselves. Additionally, jobs in the insurance industry might also be affected, as the low-collision features of self-driving could mean less money spent on safety coverage.

On the other hand, the introduction of new technologies will be constantly innovating and upgrading, and to keep up with this rapid pace of manufacturing, the industry will likely see an influx of high-tech development work.

2) Safety

Driver error in Canada is responsible for more than 90 per cent of road collisions, and in one given year there are close to 2,000 people killed and 165,000 injured in car accidents.

From speeding to driving under the influence, safety is a huge factor in the development of autonomous cars, and new technologies are helping to prevent these errors on the road. Self-driving cars will be able to communicate the distance between each other, which will increase road safety, improve driving functions, and lower the statistics of car-related injuries.

3) Public Transit

According to Stats Canada, approximately 15.4 per cent of Canadians use public transit. However, this number will likely drop as automated cars will be able to deliver point-to-point demand for commuters with driving schedules that are more lenient. Additionally, the human-free labour of self-driving will mean cheaper rates for commuters – a factor that could very well drain out public transit.

Autonomous vehicles will have long-term impacts on how Canadians live their everyday lives, and advancements in technology could turn something as simple as “catching the bus” into a nostalgic memory for the 21st century. However, if this means more safety and less risk, Canada’s attempt at paving the road for self-driving vehicles might just be one of its smartest investments.


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