Liberal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has asked the Senate to study issues surrounding driverless cars. (Photo: Fred Chartrand/CP)Among other things, Garneau says the committee should examine the potential for Canada to set standards for the development of automated cars that can operate safely on icy winter roads. "The technology I'm talking about is not science fiction," Garneau said during an appearance late Wednesday before the Senate committee. "It is in development today and has the potential to improve safety, efficiency and the environmental performance of transportation in Canada and other countries." Still, he said there are many questions that must be addressed, including the long-term impact on privacy, energy, land use, transportation demand and employment.
Garneau and Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly were invited to appear Wednesday before the committee to discuss the mandate letters given to them by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when they took charge of their portfolios. Garneau took the opportunity to ask the committee to launch a driverless car study. "I'm one of these people who believes that the Senate is part of Parliament, that has done some very serious and very important and groundbreaking studies and I want to engage with them in the most productive possible way," Garneau said in an interview. Self-driving vehicles have the potential to make driving safer, he said, noting that automated vehicles "don't fall asleep, they don't drink." And they're potentially more energy efficient because "there's less of a heavy foot on the gas and heavy foot on the brake kind of driving."
"The technology I'm talking about is not science fiction."
Challenges surrounding driverless cars
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