I’m told Canada is falling behind in the race to get driverless cars on the road. In the first place, who says it’s a race? And, in the second place, who is in such a big hurry to get behind the wheel of a driverless vehicle? (Now there’s an oxymoron) Right now Ontario is the only province that allows testing of autonomous vehicles on the road with a permit. A senate committee is studying the issues that need to be addressed so Canada can bring driverless cars to the road with a report expected by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., House republicans are drafting regulations for autonomous vehicles. Consumer advocates are expressing concerns about adequate safety regulations and I don’t blame them. We have come to rely on computer technology to a degree not thought of a few years ago, but are we rushing too fast down the road to where we don’t drive ourselves anywhere anymore? Call me old fashioned, but I’m apprehensive about manoeuvering the streets of Saskatoon without myself or another human being behind the wheel in control. At least until the day comes when 100% of vehicles, not just some, are driverless and on a controlled grid that eliminates the danger we face daily from terrible drivers. Right now that exists only in Science Fiction movies. Those advocates for this country to get cracking complain we are dead last among G7 nations when it comes to getting ready for the arrival of self-driving cars. I don’t care. I say it’s better to be a bit behind the curve while the bugs are being ironed out. Better safe than sorry.