Ontario Becomes First Canadian Province to Allow Self-Driving Cars on Public Roads

When the biggest party in the world is on the way, cars that will drive themselves will step (roll?) for the first time on Canada’s public roads. It was announced by the government the other day, so all you Google maniacs out there better get ready to see the IT giant’s white, bubble-ish, autonomous vehicles on the road. A perfect way to start a fresh year, isn’t it?
Self-driving cars will be driving on public roads in Ontario starting January 1 next year 1 photo
Whether or not there’s any connection between the Canadian government’s decision and the recent announcement Australia made, we don’t know. Obviously, things are happening, and like it or not you’d better get used to the idea that the day when your car will not need you anymore is coming.

“Beginning on January 1, 2016, Ontario will lead Canada as the first province to test automated vehicles and related technology on-road. Currently, there are nearly 100 companies and institutions involved in the connected vehicle and automated vehicle industry in the province. The pilot will enable those companies to conduct research and development in Ontario rather than in competing jurisdictions, as well as support opportunities to bring automated vehicles to market” - announced the Ministry of Transportation yesterday.

And that is not all, considering the province is also pledging an additional $500,000 (US$384,000 at the current exchange rate) in funding to the Ontario Centers of Excellence Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle Program, and that is over the $2.45 million (US$ 1.89 at the current exchange rate) in funding recently provided. According to the source, the program brings academic institutions and businesses together to promote and encourage innovative transportation technology.

Google is already running their cars on public roads in the U.S.. South Australia has also freed the way, and soon Canada will do the same thing. Oh, we almost forgot Europe (of course, we haven’t), which is running several programs in that direction, with the latest we can think of being PSA Peugeot Citroen’s 580-km (360 mi) journey from Paris to Bordeaux.

The question here is, are you ready to give up the steering wheel?
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