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A Look to the Future: Ontario Launches Program for Autonomous Vehicle Technology Development

Autonomous vehicle technology is becoming one of the fastest growing fields within the automobile industry. Companies such as Google are leading the way in testing self-driving vehicles that will help prevent millions of deaths on the roads each year. And now, the Ontario government has recently announced a new program to help increase the development of autonomous vehicle technology across the province.

The Ontario Centres of Excellence will now be supporting autonomous vehicle technology development with a $1million fund, which is designed to bring academics and business interests together to ensure that Canada becomes one of the leading countries for autonomous vehicle systems around the globe.

The OCE will be giving the highest level of consideration to projects that will help reduce driver distraction and improve communications management, data management and connected vehicle technology performance.

OCE Commitment Highlights Bright Future for Autonomous Vehicle Systems

Technology continues to help drivers achieve superior safety when they get into their motor vehicle. The recent innovations of parking assistance systems and forward collision avoidance components have helped increase the interest within autonomous vehicle technology. The knock-on effects of autonomous technology go beyond simply preventing accidents and ensuring personal safety. These effects include:

Lighter Vehicles

Should autonomous vehicle technology make it statistically impossible to get into a vehicle accident, manufacturers could build lighter vehicles. These vehicles would, therefore, be more fuel efficient than modern cars and would help drivers reduce the cost of vehicle ownership in an era of rising gas prices.

Increased Mobility for Non-Drivers

Those without the ability to drive, such as the elderly and those with medical conditions will be able to achieve complete freedom of movement should automated vehicles become a reality.

Increased Land Availability

Currently, a vast majority of the land area in major cities is dedicated to parking. Autonomous vehicles might be able to drop passengers off in the city, and then go to a further location away from crowded areas to be parked.

The future for autonomous vehicle technology holds great promise for many drivers and non-drivers. And now some of Canada’s best and brightest scientists and developers are working together to ensure that the country takes a leadership role when the technology becomes more widely adopted.

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