Ontario investing in autonomous vehicle research

VAUGHAN, ON – The Government of Ontario has signaled it’s serious about ushering self-driving vehicles, including those in commercial fleets, into the province.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca were with the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) last week to announce an $80 million government investment in the development of the vehicles through the launch of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN).

Andy Manahan, executive director of RCCAO, says the investment shows the government of Ontario is committed to the future.

“There is a lot we can learn from conducting pilot tests at AVIN, but there is more to be done to usher in a new era for our roads and for improving mobility,” he said.

A recent report commissioned by RCCAO says that self-driving vehicles will eventually replace entire fleets of taxis and buses, as well as impacting other commercial fleets.

The report recommends setting up a governance system that would use analytics and digital tools to set a subsidy and pricing system, optimize distribution, and consider the social performance of fleets. RCCAO also advocates for infrastructure investments.

In addition to commercial fleets, AVIN will also be looking at the impact of self-driving cars on the roads. Ford Motor Company, among others, have promised to have self-driving cars on the road by 2021.

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