Automated and connected vehicles (AV/CVs) promise to improve the safety and efficiency of our transportation system, and to bring new economic opportunities for Canadians. They have the potential to reduce collisions, traffic congestion and emissions, and to improve mobility for all Canadians. At the same time, if we don’t manage these technologies well, their introduction could actually lead to more traffic, inequitable access to mobility and negative environmental impacts. The future of AV/CVs could be highly disruptive, for better or worse. How government and
industry collectively prepare for this change will have a profound effect on how we capitalize on opportunities and lessen risks associated with these technologies.
Governments and industry must be forward thinking. We need a strategic and aspirational vision for AV/CVs. We need to ask ourselves how evolving technologies will fit into our society and economy in a way that helps us achieve transportation solutions and future mobility goals for all users of our transportation system. Canada’s vision for the future of our transportation system is a system that is safe, secure, green, efficient and sustainable, and that improves the quality of life for all Canadians. We don’t know the future impacts of AV/CVs, but these technologies are tools we can use to help Canada progress towards this vision. It is critical that governments and industry continue discussing how AV/CVs can shape the future of mobility in a positive and purposeful way. Canada has an opportunity to be a leader in this space, given our well-established automotive industry and strengths in information and communications (ICT) technology. Over the past two years, both the public and private sectors have made major investments in AV/CV research and engineering centres across Canada. High-tech companies have also invested significantly in research and development in this area. Small and medium-sized companies, university researchers and engineering graduates are attracting the attention of global automotive and technology companies increasingly looking to Canada for AV/CV expertise. This Policy Framework provides a set of policy principles for all jurisdictions in Canada to follow as we safely test and deploy these vehicles. This framework also focuses on policy and regulatory issues we will need to address as we prepare for a future with AV/CVs on Canadian roads.