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Ontario announces participants in self driving car pilot project

Through pilot project, a driver remains in the driver's seat at all times and must follow the rules of the road


November 29, 2016
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press

Image: Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

WATERLOO—Self-driving vehicles are hitting Ontario streets, after the province became the first in Canada to open a pilot project to test the automated vehicles on public roads.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced the program’s first three participants Monday, saying they will be working with different levels of automation.

“We are working towards full automation,” he said. “I think everyone here can see a world in which that will one day be the reality, but the Ministry of Transportation’s primary responsibility, in addition to trying to enable positive outcomes with this kind of technology, is also road safety.”

Under the pilot project, a driver with the appropriate licence must remain in the driver’s seat at all times to monitor its operation and must follow the rules of the road.

The University of Waterloo’s Centre for Automotive Research will test a Lincoln MKZ, auto manufacturer the Erwin Hymer Group will test a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van and QNX, a software subsidiary of BlackBerry, will test a 2017 Lincoln.

The pilot is set to run for 10 years.

Del Duca said the project gives Ontario “the opportunity to be a world leader in automated technology.”

“Frankly, there’s excitement in every corner of the province about the fact that we are not only embracing this technology, but in the Canadian context we’re leading on it,” he said. “I think that the possibilities are limitless at this point.”

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016