Self-Driving Cars – Coming to Canada?

On behalf of the Team of Bergeron Clifford LLP posted in Self Driving on October 18, 2014

Back in July of this year, we shared Google’s plan of rolling out self-driving cars in 2020. Google’s self-driving Lexus cars were being tested in California, one of 4 states in the United States that allow auto makers to test self-driving cars. Two more auto manufacturers joined Google at the end of last month after the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued permits to Mercedes and Audi to test their self-driving cars in California.

25 permits were issued to Google’s 25 Lexus SUVs, and Mercedes and Volkswagen each received 2 permits for their self-driving cars. The permits allow these 29 vehicles to be tested on freeways and neighborhoods with a person in the car in case the car malfunctions. Apparently, a handful of other companies are also applying for permits to test their prototypes.

The permits require the companies to carry an insurance of $5 million on each vehicle, and the permits have to renewed annually. In addition, the companies must issue reports any time the car is disengaged from its self-driving mode for whatever reason.

The driverless cars have sophisticated, high tech sensors that help the cars navigate. Some of the things the cars can do it avoid potholes and keep the cars out of other cars’ blind spots.

Like it or not, self-driving cars are coming out on the market as other auto manufactures ,such as BMW, Acura, are also in the race to push out their self-driving cars. Self-driving cars may even be available in Canada in the near future.

In order for driverless cars to be imported to Canada, it must be approved by Transport Canada. A spokeswoman for Transport Canada recently stated in an email to The Canadian Press, “Transport Canada would permit the importation of a driverless vehicle, provided that it has been certified by the manufacturer as complying with the safety standards that apply to the vehicle class.”

If driverless cars are imported to Canada, provincial government would need to pass legislation to regulate the use of driverless cars. Therefore, the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario would be responsible for passing legislation if driverless cars are allowed to be on the roadways in cities such as Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby.

However, there are many issues which will need to be addressed. Would someone without a driver’s license be allowed to operate a driverless car? Can the driver legally watch a movie or work on a computer while the car is driving? Is it legal for drivers to text while the car is driving?

Some believe that driverless cars may reduce auto accidents caused by texting while driving and reduce accidents in general. Others would not even contemplate getting in self-driving cars.

About Bergeron Clifford

Bergeron Clifford LLP has proudly and successfully represented injured clients and their loved ones in legal proceedings across Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Perth, and Eastern Ontario. Their goal is to help you receive appropriate compensation in the shortest amount of time. 866-384-5886

Sources:

  • http://canadamotoguide.com (Like it or not, driverless cars are coming)
  • http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/is-canada-ready-for-self-driving-cars-1.1342091

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