The Canadian federal government has finally released its report from the Standing Senate Committee on Transportation and Communications on self-driving cars and the future of autonomous driving in Canada. The committee — chaired by senators David Tkachuk, Dennis Dawson and Patricia Bovey — looked at every aspect of cars that will drive themselves— from data security to technology implementation, from auto insurance to car repair. Issues examined, included the possibility of increased urban traffic sprawl as empty driverless cars clutter up the road system, and the possible disappearance of jobs in the auto and trucking related sector that could top one million. Data privacy and cybersecurity proved prominent in the senator’s concerns as the severity of cybersecurity threats was a real issue. The report recommended adequate security measures be in in place to ward off hackers.
As for the technology that will drive the autonomous car revolution, the government’s toughest task they concluded was how to embrace encouraging the rapid growth that will make Canada’s auto high-tech centre competitive while maintaining adequate safety measures on our roads. The report’s first recommendation is that the ISED and Transport Canada “create a joint policy unit” that will “implement a national strategy on automated and connected vehicles. The report foresees self-driving cars that can drive in the city only 10 to 15 years away, “an autonomous car that will transport people between cities is likely 20 to 30 years away.” The report concluded.