Driverless cars not to be tested on Vancouver streets, says province
Coun. Geoff Meggs said 75 per cent of cars could be driverless by 2040
The City of Vancouver is beginning to look at the potential impact of driverless cars, but the B.C. government says its plans can't include actually putting them on the road.
Coun. Geoff Meggs says he has asked city staff to examine the issue. He claims 75 per cent of cars on the road could be driverless by 2040, and understanding how they operate on Vancouver streets is crucial.
"It would be great to see the province step forward in a more comprehensive way because I think all the municipalities will be asking questions about it," he said.
Meggs says no plans have actually been made to test the cars in Vancouver, but he points out jurisdictions in Europe are already doing so.
The B.C. government agrees driverless cars could appear across the province, and it's keeping a close watch on the issue.
However, Transportation Minister Todd Stone says B.C. has no plans to launch any pilots, and he warns that cities don't have free reign to test the cars out.
"I don't believe the City of Vancouver has regulatory authority over the operation of motor vehicles, that's a provincial authority, and safety standards is a federal role," Stone said.
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau recently asked the Senate's transportation and communications committee to launch a study of the regulatory, policy and technical issues that need to be addressed so that Canada can safely and smoothly make the transition to self-driving vehicles.
With files from Richard Zussman