© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ontario taking the wheel in driverless car testing

Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia Commons

Ontario will become Canada's first province to allow testing for self-driving cars. The project will begin on January 1.

Ontario's roads will be the testing ground, but vehicles will have to have a human operator who can take over if there are any problems. The self-driving vehicles are able to detect the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning systems. 

Southern Ontario has long been home to a major portion of the country's automotive industry, despite heavy job losses in recent years. The province's transportation minister, Steven Del Duca, says it is important for Ontario to make a claim now in the global marketplace.

"In order to compete Ontario needs to be consistent with the approach of U.S. jurisdictions and we need to step up," said Del Duca.

Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Brad Duguid, goes even further.

"It's going to happen. Our choice is either to get run over by it or to lead, and we're choosing to lead it," Duguid said.

The provincial government has also announced a half-million dollars in new money for research and for businesses working on connected vehicle and automated vehicle technology.
There are nearly 100 companies and organizations in Ontario already involved in the technology.

WBFO’s comprehensive news coverage extends into Southern Ontario and Dan Karpenchuk is the station’s voice from the north. The award-winning reporter covers binational issues, including economic trends, the environment, tourism and transportation.