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Canada Must Prepare For Driverless Cars, Industry Insiders Say

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KANATA, Ont. — Advocates for the country's high tech and automotive sectors say the federal government needs to build infrastructure and prepare for major economic disruptions brought on by an expected influx of so-called driverless cars, trucks and buses.

But they're also cautioning the government to tread lightly as it moves to regulate Canada's blossoming autonomous vehicle industry.

Tucked away in last week's federal budget was a pledge to spend $7.3 million over two years to improve motor vehicle safety.

Part of that money was earmarked for developing regulations for emerging technologies, including automated vehicles.

Barrie Kirk of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence welcomed the investment.

But he told a panel of industry and government leaders gathered in an Ottawa suburb today that Canada lags far behind its G7 counterparts in preparing for what he predicts will be a hugely disruptive digital technology.

Kirk said the effect tech-driven services such as Uber has had on the taxi industry pales in comparison to the tremors that driverless vehicles will send through the economy.