OTA weighs in on autonomous vehicles, platooning

by Truck News

TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) says the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s approach to automated vehicles and truck platooning is “measured and responsible.”

However, in its submission to the province in regards to proposed amendments to Reg. 306/51, covering a pilot project for automated vehicles, the OTA also made several suggestions. It wants the province to include the role professional drivers will continue to play as the technology evolves.

“OTA supports moving forward with technology and innovation that can lead to a safer, greener and more efficient trucking industry, however the constant will still be the driver. The future is not the driverless truck but instead the integration of trained professional drivers into a cab with innovative technology,” said OTA’s Marco Beghetto, vice-president, communications and new media.

The OTA urged the province to consider parameters around the educational requirements for resellers of Level 3 autonomous vehicles, to explain the technology to buyers. The OTA also suggested the MTO consider examining the potential impacts of operator fatigue.

The MTO has proposed allowing the testing of cooperative truck platooning in Ontario. The OTA has suggested that drivers engaged in the pilot be sufficiently trained on the platooning technology that will be used.

“Testing, monitoring and evaluating the platooning aspect of this proposal in partnership with the trucking industry and emphasizing commercial truck operators’ role can bring success to this effort,” said Beghetto.

As for the testing of driverless vehicles, the OTA wants municipal road signage and vehicle labeling to be required, to notify local road users of the presence of automated vehicles. Public awareness and education is also urged.

Details of the platooning pilot project can be found here. Carriers interested in participating can contact Joe Lynch, at joe.lynch@ontario.ca.

The OTA has weighed in on how Ontario should approach truck platooning and autonomous vehicle deployment.

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  • Marco Beghetto is way off base here.
    The future does not include the driver in the cab for OTR operations, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
    The future’s OTR “driver” will sit at a desk and monitor 3 to 5 units on computer screens as they traverse the country. He gets to put in his/her 8 hours and go home every night to a spouse and children … he/she will get home in a driverless Uber.
    Drivers will still be required though for yard moves, loading & unloading facilities, and final mile delivery.
    Get your head out of the sand Beghetto … look around at what is REALLY happening.