Ontario Expands Automated Vehicle Pilot

Ontario Government Supports Innovation and Growth in Automated Vehicle Industry

Waterloo, ON (Jan. 22, 2019) – Today, Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek was at the Sedra Student Design Centre at the University of Waterloo to support innovation and growth within Ontario’s automated vehicle industry.

As one of the actions in the recent package to create jobs by eliminating red tape and burdensome regulations, Ontario has updated its Automated Vehicle Pilot program to allow for more testing of emerging technologies and to support future sales of the next generation of autos.

Ontario will allow vehicles equipped with higher levels of automation — Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 3 technology — to be driven on Ontario roads once they are eligible for purchase in Canada. Ontario will also permit pilot participants to test driverless automated vehicles and connected truck platoons on roads, under strict conditions.

To keep Ontario’s roads safe, all companies testing automated/connected vehicle technology as part of Ontario’s pilot must follow strict guidelines and rules. A vehicle moving with any level of automation will continue to be required to have someone behind the wheel who is attentive at all times, ready to take control of the vehicle and, obeying all existing driving laws including for distracted and impaired driving.

These changes will open the door to opportunities for both local business interests and international sector investments, unlock potential economic benefits and position Ontario to be a leader in connected and automated vehicle technology. Ontario is home to the second-largest technology cluster in North America, with more than 150 start-ups and scale-ups working on connected and automated vehicle technology and artificial intelligence.

“We’re cutting red tape for Ontario universities, companies, and others involved in automated vehicles to stimulate innovation, economic growth, market share and job creation in our province,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation. “Ontario is leading the nation in testing, developing and bringing these new technologies to market.”

“At the University of Waterloo we are conducting unique research in the field of autonomous vehicles, like improving self-driving in Canadian weather conditions such as sleet and snow,” said Ross McKenzie, Managing Director, WatCAR, University of Waterloo. “After recently celebrating 100 kilometres driven on public roads, the measures announced today will allow projects like Autonomoose to further advance important research opportunities in this emerging sector, while training highly qualified personnel for industry.”

“BlackBerry is committed to working with the private and public sector to advance connected and self-driving vehicle technologies,” said John Wall, Senior Vice President and Co-Head, BlackBerry Technology Solutions, BlackBerry. “We applaud the government’s plan to expand the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles in Ontario, which will lead to the development of life saving technology that the world can trust.”

“The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association applauds the Ministry of Transportation’s update of Ontario’s Automated Vehicle Pilot program, which supports the sector to effectively manage the introduction of these technologies,” said Mark Nantais, President, Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association. “Autonomous vehicle technologies have the potential to significantly improve safety, enhance mobility, as well as help foster innovation and growth at Canadian companies and research institutes.”

“Reducing regulatory burden ensures that Ontario really is open for business and increases opportunities for new and emerging automotive and transportation technologies to be developed, tested and piloted in the province,” said Raed Kadri, Director, Automotive Technology and Mobility Innovation, Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, Ontario Centres of Excellence. “Updating Ontario’s AV pilot regulations makes a big difference for the small and medium sized businesses that we support as a part of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network delivered by Ontario Centres of Excellence and encourages global auto industry leaders to partner with and invest in Ontario.”

“The Global Automakers of Canada is pleased that the Government of Ontario has recently amended regulations to reflect the rapid evolution in driving assist technologies and, soon, the deployment in Canada of Level 3 automated vehicles semi-autonomous vehicles featuring SAE,” said David Adams, President of the Global Automakers of Canada. “By removing the Province’s regulatory barrier to the deployment of Level 3 vehicles on Ontario roads, the government has recognized the Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEM) commitment to road safety, while ensuring that Ontario remains amongst leading jurisdictions tor both the testing and adoption of automated vehicles.”

“We applaud the Government of Ontario for taking action to enable safe, on-road testing of self-driving vehicles without a human driver,” said Sarah Abboud, Uber spokesperson. “Real-world testing will be crucial to realizing the benefits of automated driving in Ontario.”

Additional Resources

About Ontario’s Automated Vehicle Pilot Program

In 2016, Ontario launched a ten-year pilot program to allow the testing of automated vehicles on Ontario’s roads. In response to advances in Automated vehicle (AV) technology, the program was updated on January 1, 2019, to allow for the testing and sale of more innovative technologies. For more information, visit Ontario’s Automated Vehicle Pilot Program.

Source: Office of the Minister of Transportation, Ontario

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