The Ontario provincial government announced today that starting Jan. 1, 2016, the province will become the first jurisdiction in Canada to allow the testing of automated vehicles on its roads.
The announcement comes as Ontario seeks to get a share of the billion-dollar industry of auto makers, auto parts companies and technology giants who are shifting their focus toward developing innovative new technology that allows vehicles to drive themselves.
Although it could be decades before we are riding around in self-driving cars, tech giants and automakers are already rushing to bring the technology to the market. Many vehicles are already equipped with semi-autonomous capabilities that enable the vehicles to park themselves, stay in their own lane on the highway and stop to avoid a collision.
The plan will permit the testing of self-driving cars on almost any road in Ontario, however, it is most likely that the testing will be limited to secondary highways and some city roads.
According to Ontario guidelines established last year, a trained driver must remain in the drivers seat at all times while the vehicle is being operated. The vehicles must be equipped with technology that alerts the driver to any tech failures and that allows the driver to take over control at any moment. All vehicles will also be required to follow all traffic rules and regulations.
While many people tout the advanced safety that autonomous vehicles should bring to the road, others are more suspicious of the new technology. The autonomous vehicles face a number of steep hurdles, including regulations, legal parameters, liability issues and infrastructure challenges. Many question if society is fully prepared for the integration of self-driving vehicles.
As more and more technology becomes integrated into our vehicles, the auto accident lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners remain up-to-date in our ability to fight for the rights of those injured in any type of auto accident. Do not hesitate to contact our offices if you have been injured because of the negligence of another driver.
Call (866) 320-4770 to speak with a representative today.