MARCON Mobility Newsletter
Montreal, QC (June 13, 2014) – The rate of change is not slowing. But on the outside, at least, those who are governing and regulating seem to be caught between a need to move more quickly and an increasingly complex world where ever more factors need to be weighed. In a democracy we all have opinions and can voice them, but those with special interests can be vocal and even disruptive at times.
Ride-sharing services such as Uber pose a threat to the taxi industry. Uber operates in Montreal and Toronto but is not allowed in Vancouver or Calgary, and taxi strikes have recently erupted in Europe. The way forward is sometimes not easy. If ride-sharing is causing this level of concern, what will be the impact of driverless vehicles in as little as five years, when they start to become more common? Louisiana recently joined other states as it voted to study self-driving cars. The UK government intends to rewrite laws to allow such vehicles.
Urban transit planning should be considering rapid technological changes as it studies and designs transit systems. Are such groups today making major investment decisions based on many decades of expected use without looking at the impact of ride-sharing, car-sharing, self-driving vehicles, and the developments going on around them? The debate about the Champlain Bridge in Montreal is explored as an example.
The ethical questions, always a thorny issue, will be with us forever. A self-driving vehicle controlled by computer algorithms and about to crash perhaps faces a choice to injure or kill one of two people. Who decides the result?
More news snippets: Nissan/Renault driverless by 2018; Nevada cleared for testing drones; environmental implications of driverless vehicles; drones for small essential deliveries in hard-to-access locations; and the Transportation Evolution Institute – understanding new technologies, assessing their potential impact on all natures of transportation and strategizing their optimal deployment.
Read the newsletter (PDF).
MARCON Management Consultants Inc. is a specialized market research, strategy and management consulting firm based in Montreal. For more information, visit www.marcon.qc.ca.