I call to order meeting number 96 of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), we are studying automated and connected vehicles in Canada.
The witnesses we have on this first panel are David Ticoll, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Innovation Policy Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. From the Canadian Automobile Association, we have Ian Jack, Managing Director of cCmmunications and Government Relations, and from the the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence, we have Barrie Kirk, Executive Director.
Mr. Ticoll, you may go first. We have to warn you that there may be a vote coming up shortly, so we may have to suspend and go to the House and then come back.
The floor is yours for five minutes, please.
Thank you very much, Madam Chair and committee, for this opportunity to testify in support of your study on the issues related to automated and connected vehicles in Canada.
As you may know, I also had the honour, along with my co-witnesses, of testifying on this topic at the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications last spring. The Senate committee report is excellent. Please consider my remarks to be a build on that report.
I plan to focus on some major policy issues, but first I'll address the recent fatality of a pedestrian hit by a self-driving vehicle in Arizona. The video record suggests the collision was due to a technology systems failure, but the technologies involved are straightforward and in wide use. Why this happened is a mystery. There are probably big implications for regulatory policy, but automated vehicle technology will continue to advance.
I'll get into the main topic by respectfully suggesting that we broaden the conversation. The policy issues related to automated vehicles and connected vehicles—AVs and CVs, what I call intelligent mobility—are best addressed in combination with municipal planning and the smart city agenda. This is because intelligent mobility applications will be the defining networks of future cities, just as cars with human drivers shaped our cities and towns over the past 100 years. Smart cities and intelligent mobility bring many promises, such as safety, environmental benefits, congestion management, accessibility, convenience, and cost savings, among others.
There are also risks and challenges. For example, we know that ride-sharing in major U.S. cities has already increased congestion and reduced public transit use. The question is what Canada is doing to maximize the upside and minimize or mitigate the downside risks.
I'm going to focus on five topics: governance, data, infrastructure, mobility sector development, and social policy.
First, on governance, the Senate called for a joint Transport Canada-ISED policy unit for this topic. I suggest that as is happening elsewhere, this be broadened to an all-of-government approach. This is because the mobility and urbanism revolutions will have profound and disruptive impacts on just about every government policy and program area.
I further suggest the formation of a standing federal-provincial-territorial and municipal smart city intelligent mobility forum. This national SCIM forum, if you like, should be mandated to ensure that we realize the vision of a smart Canada that Canadians want.
Why do we need a new national forum? Well, consider my second topic, which is really at the heart of the issue: data policy. The Senate report rightly pays a lot of attention to this issue. There is a good chance that a handful of global mobility companies will dominate our streets, capture the data, and assert control over its use. The risks associated with this scenario are all over today's headlines. The Senate offers more recommendations on data policy than on any other topic, including cybersecurity, road safety, and of course privacy. The Senate also importantly identifies the need to open digital mobility data and algorithms so Canadian-based companies can participate and compete in this market.
The Senate's data policy framework deserves expansion. Governments need mobility and municipal data to manage traffic and inform infrastructure investments. The data is essential to mobility as a service concept that lets consumers move easily from bikes to buses to cars. It's necessary for transparent reporting of incidents, collisions, emissions, fuel efficiency, and road use and is necessary for assuring compliance with accessibility, pricing, and algorithmic neutrality policies.
More fundamentally, we should treat data rights as human rights. Individuals and communities should control the data derived from their essential activities, such as moving around and using public services. Mobility and city life is not the same as Facebook, which is an optional human choice.
My third topic is infrastructure. Two things are clear. First, some key current infrastructure plans fail the futureproofing test. Second, models of smart people-centric and transit-centric intelligent mobility design are now becoming clearer than they were even a year or two ago. The current approach of letting local decision-makers set the priorities has too often led to decisions with built-in obsolescence. We need to turn this around.
Fourth is innovation and growth of intelligent mobility and smart city sectors. I'm very active in this area. We have 175 digital mobility companies in Ontario. I'm on the advisory committee for the Automated Vehicle Innovation Network. There is a lot of good stuff happening here.
I'm going to skip through this because I'm running out of time, but I would say that the government needs to do a lot of work around skills development in this area. We need to proactively promote gender and diversity in these careers, and governments need to prioritize investments in intelligent mobility-friendly infrastructure and open up the data to support the sector.
Last, I will highlight the social policy implications. By my calculation, intelligent mobility will generate downside risks for jobs in sectors that employ 1.3 million Canadians. Most of these, such as insurance agents, car dealers, and carbon sector workers, aren't even professional drivers. On the other hand, we can achieve wonderful gains for the environment, for all kinds of disadvantaged groups, and for transportation equity if we get our policies and programs right. Once again, coordination can only help.
I'll close by saying that I'll be pleased to work with the committee and committee members in helping develop your work in this area. I'm also an adviser to the Information Technology Association of Canada, and we both have a great interest in data policy in particular, and in many dimensions, one of which is around economic development for Canada and Canadian competitiveness.
Thank you very much, Chair and committee members. Thank you for your interest in the subject, which is a very important one to over six million CAA members across the country. Our main issue is on the non-profit public affairs side of our operation, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure, consumer protection, and the future of the automobile, which is what brings us here today, among other things.
First of all, it's important to know that connected vehicles are already on our roads, and that their presence is growing every year in Canada. For example, most new vehicles offer a GPS connection via an internal antenna. Moreover, various safety features, such as lane support systems and automatic parking assist systems, allow on-board computers to know what's going on outside, and take control of the vehicle, even if it is for just a few seconds.
Most of us are familiar with the image of the Google car, and we think of that when we think of autonomous vehicles. It looks like a different species. The reality is more likely to be evolutionary, however, than revolutionary. Slowly features are being added that, taken together, are leading down the path to full autonomy.
To us, the development of the technology needed for fully autonomous vehicles is inevitable. There are at least three big questions outstanding, however.
The first is how quickly the environment outside the vehicle will be able to evolve to accommodate the technology. All levels of government will have to adapt regulations for this new world and, to some extent, change the way they spend on infrastructure. One quick example is insurance legislation, which universally speaks of persons. Where will liability rest in this new world? It’s quite possible to arrive at an answer, but the topic will have to be debated and legislation created.
The second concern, which is related to the first, is how soon autonomous vehicles will become commonplace on our roads. Did you know that all the vehicles in use today could be completely different in 20 years? It's impossible to be sure of it, but we believe that autonomous vehicles will be dominating the market between 2025 or 2040. All the more reason to start preparing as soon as possible.
There is expert consensus, however, on the fact that AVs will kill fewer people than human drivers and that AVs should extend personal mobility to many, such as the elderly, who cannot drive today. For these reasons, CAA supports the responsible development of autonomous vehicle technologies.
The third major concern we have at the Canadian Automobile Association is the control over the huge amounts of personal data that will be collected by connected and autonomous vehicles about the drivers.
Vehicles are becoming smart phones on wheels. It's almost trite to say so today. Your vehicle will soon, if it doesn’t already, know as much or more about your movements, likes, and dislikes as anyone in your life, even your spouse, unless you drive everywhere with them. CAA has long held that vehicle owners should be informed about what data is being collected and be able, within reasonable limits, to choose with whom they share it. It must not be a take-it-or-leave-it approach that forces the owner to abandon all rights to privacy in order to enjoy the benefits of in-car technology.
This is not a theoretical concern. In an early 2017 CAA national opinion poll, 49% of Canadians said that they were not aware of the range of data being collected by their vehicle today. When it comes to sharing of that vehicle data, nearly 90% of Canadians agreed that the consumer should decide who gets access to their vehicle data. Further, in a late 2017 national poll, 77% of Canadians said they were not aware that they had consented to the collection and use of their private data when they purchased their vehicle.
Illustrating that the issue of privacy of data in connected vehicles exists today, not as a theoretical construct for 10 years from now, one in three Canadians polled who have rented a car or used a car-sharing vehicle have found a previous user’s personal information still in the vehicle’s system.
According to this same survey, 81% of Canadians believe that clear rules must be applied to protect the personal data collected by these vehicles.
CAA participated in the Senate’s recent AV study, and we welcomed the final report, which was released in January 2018. The findings echoed CAA's position on this file, recommending that “Canadians should have control over their personal information.” The report went on to recommend that “Transport Canada bring together relevant stakeholders—governments, automakers, and consumers—to develop a connected car framework, with privacy protection as one of its key drivers.”
These discussions have not been happening to date. We hope this committee will agree that these issues need to be addressed and endorse this recommendation.
In conclusion, even if some challenges must be addressed, it is obvious that connected and autonomous vehicles will provide many benefits over the years. However, now is the time to join the discussion, strategically speaking, so that governments can contribute to the responsible development of these innovative technologies.
CAA looks forward to continuing to represent the consumer interest on this important topic. We thank you for your invitation to speak to you today.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you, Madam Chair. Good afternoon, and thank you all for the opportunity to testify.
I am going to be frank and honest in my comments this afternoon, but I will be polite.
In June 2014 the federal government asked the Honourable David Emerson to review the Canada Transportation Act. CAVCOE contributed to that review.
The Emerson report was published in December 2015, with research on AVs. Also in December 2015, CAVCOE published its white paper on what we felt the federal government should do. There were 30 AV-related recommendations. The vast majority of those are still waiting to be implemented.
In 2016 Transport Canada conducted extensive consultations with Canadians as a follow-up to the Emerson report. Also in 2016 the Library of Parliament researched AVs and CVs. Again we contributed to that work, and the report was published in September 2016.
In 2017, as you know, the senate committee conducted research and held hearings. Again we contributed, and the report was published two months ago.
It is now March 2018, and you are holding these hearings. In parallel with all of this, Transport Canada staff have been discussing AVs with other groups within Transport Canada. Transport Canada has been holding discussions with ISED. The federal government has been discussing AVs and CVs with the provinces and the territories, and Transport Canada has been discussing them with the U.S. In total there have been three and a half years of hearings, research, consultations, and reports.
As Yes, Minister's Sir Humphrey Appleby might have said, “Everybody has been terribly busy holding meetings and consultations and discussing this topic.” My first message to you this afternoon is “Enough, already.” It's time to move beyond research, consultations, and reports and to put some action items in place.
There was an excellent op-ed piece in The Globe and Mail last year by Kevin Lynch, the vice-chair of the Bank of Montreal and the former Clerk to the Privy Council and secretary to the cabinet. The op-ed was entitled “How disruptive technologies are eroding our trust in government”. Mr. Lynch wrote, “There is the ever-increasing pace of technical change versus the pace of policymaking....”
I have a second message to the committee this afternoon, and I've picked one key recommendation. I propose that the federal government create the Canadian automated vehicles institute, CAVI, modelled on the U.K. government's centre for connected and autonomous vehicles, CCAV. I propose that the Canadian AV institute be a joint policy unit of Transport Canada and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. It would be a focal point for those in government, industry, academia, and internationally. It would help Canada to move to the forefront not only of the development but also the deployment of autonomous vehicles. The website for the U.K.'s CCAV includes more detailed objectives that can be a template for the Canadian version.
According to the consulting company KPMG, the Netherlands, believe it or not, are the world leaders in readiness for AVs, with the Dutch AV Institute, or DAVI. The Australians have the Australian Driverless Vehicle Institute, ADVI, and CAVCOE has a formal partnership with them. In the same KPMG report, there is a table showing the AV readiness of 20 countries. Canada is number seven.
My advice to the Senate committee looking into AVs included the recommendation for a Canadian AV institute. My advice became recommendation number one in the Senate report.
In summary, I believe it's time for the federal government to transition from studies, reports, and consultations and to start to better prepare Canada for the AV era.
I propose that action item number one be the formation of a Canadian automated vehicles institute.
Thank you again for this opportunity to let off some steam on what I believe.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
First of all I want to say that I agree with Barrie that the first step is to form this joint Transport Canada-ISED thing. We can then build on that to the national initiative that I'm talking about, but it should be led by that. This issue of governance and how this phenomenon is going to be driven in this country is a critical issue, and I would recommend that your very first priority be to find a way to help government get off the dime on that.
The second issue is the data issue. I believe one of the reasons the government has been so slow to act is that the data issue is a confounding issue: we don't have the necessary mandates, tools, or legislative frameworks. I agree with you that privacy is a big issue, but it's not the only issue. There are many other issues: cybersecurity, access to data for innovation, mobility within cities, how cities manage their environments, and so on. We don't have the skills within government to develop and implement policy along these lines. It extends beyond cars and mobility into just about every other area. These are two fundamental challenges that I believe would be critical to move the ball forward.
Let me make one last comment: there are many other factors at work here. There is all kinds of housekeeping-type stuff, the regulatory things that need to be done to realize this phenomenon. That's a whole other area, and I believe the committee in this respect needs to find a way to ensure that the government administration moves a bit more quickly on those fronts. Those should be very easy to do relative to these complex issues that I've just identified.
It's a very good question, and I agree with my colleague David Ticoll here.
As I said in my testimony, the place to start—and we're both agreed—is the Canadian AV institute. As David said, there's a long list of other things that government should be doing, and for that I refer you back to the white paper we did over three years ago, with 30 recommendations for the federal government. The Senate report has 16 recommendations—15 others—and part of the issue in all of this is what Kevin Lynch wrote about. It's very challenging for government to deal with very disruptive technologies. The past is no guide to the future, and that makes it really challenging. It's important, in any disruptive technology, to get ahead of the curve.
We've been doing some work for the City of Toronto, and they understand that you don't wait for the technology to arrive and then develop the regulatory framework. You try to get ahead of the curve, and that's one of the very important things that I agree with Kevin Lynch on—to get ahead of the curve from the policy framework perspective.
Thank you very much, Madam Chair; and thank you to our witnesses for being here.
I heard on at least two occasions during the testimony you gave that to open things, in fact, we might not have the skills in place today to deal with the need that the emerging technology presents. Mr. Ticoll, you specifically discussed it in the context of the need to be there as innovations happen around the world in terms of skills development.
As a quick example, a young woman approached my office because she has been doing research, at about age 13, on automatic vehicles and came with a printed presentation she had at her science fair on the issue. Her name is Hayley. She is well versed in the issues on automatic vehicles, and I would suggest that she knows more about them than the vast majority of parliamentarians. When she was asking me how to stay engaged with this, my face was blank. I didn't know where to tell her to go.
How do we make sure there are opportunities for people such as Hayley to stay engaged with this developing industry and take advantage of the talent that exists so we are ahead of the curve, so to speak, in Mr. Kirk's turn of phrase?
Maybe Mr. Ticoll could respond first, and then Mr. Kirk, if he'd like to follow.
As I mentioned, I'm on the advisory committee to the Automated Vehicle Innovation Network for Ontario. I was at a meeting just last week and I was having a conversation with one of the folks from the Ontario government about what is attracting these 175 companies to invest in Ontario. He said the number one reason is talent, the number two reason is talent, and the number three reason is talent.
That means we're already off to a good start because we're attracting a massive amount of investment from pretty much a standing start two or three years ago.
Where I think we need to take this now—and I have some experience in this area—is to start professionalizing this field. We need to start structuring it around clear career definitions. We need to start building post-secondary programs devoted to both smart cities and autonomous vehicles. That's how you address the skills agenda—and if I may, to respond to the previous question, that's one example of how government can play a role.
I would just say on that front that my personal view is that because we're now dealing with human lives and these valuable human assets such as data, again, look at the headlines. Government has let some organizations do what they like with our data, and that seems to be creating a few problems that we need to deal with societally.
Unfortunately, we do have to. There is a good case for a role for government in these matters, among others.
Indeed, yes. Thank you for the question.
First of all, I agree with my colleague here. The big issue for government is that there are three different sectors of the issue, which makes it more complicated. There's the technology, the innovation and research and development. That's moving ahead pretty well at the moment.
Second, there is the regulatory framework. I don't like unnecessary government intervention, but as David has mentioned, there are issues about privacy and issues about the regulatory framework. I know that General Motors has in fact requested of the U.S. government certain changes to vehicle safety regulations, which is one of the ways that government must be involved. GM has announced that they will start mass-producing driverless vehicles in 2019, next year, and they've requested a number of variances to the safety regulations, not to make cars less safe but to be realistic. Regulations in Canada and the U.S. at the moment require that there be an airbag tucked inside the steering wheel. If there's no steering wheel, that makes no sense. What GM is proposing is to treat both front seats in a car the same way, the same way that a passenger seat, at the moment, is controlled.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Gentlemen, thank you for being with us.
After listening to you, I realize two things. First, we are loud and clear on how we must stop undertaking studies, and start taking action. Though it also seems that Canada is falling slightly behind—more than slightly, actually—on this issue.
I would like to come back to you, Mr. Kirk, but the other witnesses can also join in.
If it were created, what specificity would the Canadian institute contribute that hasn't already been contributed by the other institutes that have a head start on us? Would this specificity be related to the Canadian climate, for example?
I'll make two quick points, as I'm conscious of the time, Madam Chair.
One is that I did not suggest, with respect, that we make the cars less safe. What GM is asking for in the U.S., which I support, is making both front seats with the same level of safety, the same number of air bags, as the passenger seat has at the moment.
In terms of overall safety, a while back we did a joint report with the Conference Board of Canada, and we predicted that with full deployment of AVs and CVs, we could in fact eliminate 80% of the collisions, traffic deaths, and injuries. That's a big step forward. I think most people agree that AVs and computers will be much safer than human drivers.
A driverless car is a much more complicated problem than a driverless airplane, because there's not a lot of traffic up there in the air. You're asking a very good question, and that's why it's going to take a very long time before we get to the point where, on the major streets of our cities, we're going to see these cars driving around willy-nilly. We'll probably take quite a number of years, maybe 20 to 25 or something of that nature.
In the meantime, what I believe will happen will be like what Google is doing right now with cars in a suburb of Tempe, Arizona. It's a very flat area, and there's not a lot of weather. The streets are big and wide, and they're just trying it out. They're being extremely conservative about how they roll this technology out.
The way that's likely to happen in Canada, where we have the additional weather factors to consider, is that we will see it initially in very limited areas that are highly geographically bounded, where the vehicles have a lot of information about the 3-D mapping of the streets down to the millimetre level, or at least the sub-centimetre level. It's going to take time.
Some autonomous vehicle designers and manufacturers, such as Waymo, have said they are designing their vehicles on the assumption that eventually there will be no supporting infrastructure. They must assume that if their vehicle can actually go anywhere—which is the long-term goal—they can't rely on the availability of infrastructure that will support them.
Therefore, if Canada believes, and if you believe as part of our government, that it's desirable for Canada, from the perspective of both industry development and urban innovation, to move more quickly, then it's quite likely that investing in intelligent infrastructure would be a good idea.
We call these “connected and autonomous vehicles”, so that's the “connected” part, and there are two kinds of things we can put in. The first is a lot of smart devices that the vehicle can communicate with that are part of the streets—the traffic lights, other cars, and so on. Those are all electronic. The second is road markings, which are physical technologies.
The City of Montreal, which is being very innovative these days in bike infrastructure, is rethinking how its streets work and has a wonderful opportunity. There is also the artificial intelligence community there, and so on. That would be a great place to start innovating, because there's a lot of transformation happening in the streets already.
I have a couple of comments.
We have to have a very holistic view. What about the employment of drivers? From years with the Insurance Corporation of B.C. and dealing with traffic safety, especially speeding, we know that it's the variance in operating attributes, if you will, that can cause all kinds of traffic conflicts. What about the transition period, when you have three-quarters of the people still driving cars and the other quarter autonomous? I'll leave you to think about that one.
I want to challenge some of your assumptions.
When I was a kid, they delivered milk to my front door by horse, believe it or not. I'm that old. Well, guess what, guys? They're delivering groceries again. Certainly if I look at Metro Vancouver, I see that the design of that city is meant to reduce the need to move around. Are you trying to come up with new technology that might be buggy-whipped by the time it's ready to go if people don't need to do as much travelling around?
The other issue is that driving is not a utilitarian function. People like to drive. They socialize in the car. They do many other things over and above simply getting from point A to point B. Would you consider mandating that people can't drive their cars anymore in order to reduce traffic conflicts?
That's a good question.
In terms of resistance, I have two thoughts.
First of all is infrastructure. David made the right comment that there are two different kinds of infrastructure. Physical infrastructure is one, and the first commandment over AVs, to my way of thinking, is “thou shalt have no special physical infrastructure”. AVs will have the sensors, software, and artificial intelligence to drive on the same roads as humans do. No government, no combination of governments, can afford to upgrade all of the infrastructure in time for the arrival of AVs.
The second commandment of infrastructure, as far as AVs are concerned, is that once we have enough AVs in use, we can optimize the infrastructure. There's a study out of Texas that shows—
Sure, and for the record, CAA will never recommend taking people's cars away from them.
At the same time, I do agree with my colleague David. Certainly the surveys that we see suggest that the younger you are, the less attached you are to driving and to a vehicle, and the more utilitarian you see it to be. That's not 100% of the population, but it is coming.
Again, we're looking at a fairly long time horizon here. This is not coming in 2021. It's coming a bit later than that, in terms of mass adoption of these things.
I would take a page from something somebody said on this side of the table, which was that the technology is coming. A point I made earlier is that this is likely.... It's evolutionary as much as it is revolutionary. If you have lane assist, if you have a vehicle that brakes for you if you're getting too close to the vehicle ahead of you, you already have a vehicle that is moving towards autonomy. I think most of us—generation by generation of vehicle over the next five to 10 to whatever years—are simply going to go from being 5% or 10% to 20% to 50% to 75% autonomous before we even realize it.
Sure. We'll see if we can push it to five, Madam Chair.
I want to preface my comments by first saying that I am personally very excited about the future of autonomous vehicles and I think it's something that most Canadians are excited about, but with the caveat of knowing that there are issues that happen. I make reference to the issue that happened in Arizona.
I was talking with some of the folks within the AI realm. I'm from Edmonton, Alberta, where there's significant AI development happening at the University of Alberta in terms of finding areas to test the autonomous vehicles there in what we won't refer to as Nevada weather but as different types of weather. Still, when one of those incidents like the Arizona incident happens, there is always a kind of pullback to ask what we do now and to say that it's moving too fast.
In your opinion, have certain companies and organizations jumped and moved too fast? You've mentioned that government is really slow here, but these things are still happening. I don't think it's within the government's purview to go in and say not to worry about it, that it won't happen here, that it shouldn't happen in downtown Toronto. Toronto has pulled its vehicles off the road.
I'll give you an opportunity to give some comfort to those Canadians who are thinking that when these isolated instances happen, they represent a bigger systemic problem in artificial intelligence on the roads.
Thank you very much, Madam Chair. Good evening, everyone.
I thank you for this opportunity to appear before you on the subject of automated vehicles and connected vehicles.
Industry's effective and managed introduction of these technologies provides an opportunity to enable technological advancements that have the potential to significantly improve safety and enhance mobility, as well as help to foster innovation and growth at Canadian technology companies and research institutes.
It is imperative that Canada work in partnership with the United States and with industry to achieve alignment and synchronization of policy requirements, as these countries form a region with consistent infrastructure and seamless travel across borders. Vehicle technology in these areas continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and CVMA members remain committed to research, development, and deployment of advanced driver-assist technologies that reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities for occupants and vulnerable road users, including those involving automated vehicles and connected vehicles.
Government engagement, under Transport Canada’s leadership, will be needed to facilitate deployment and public acceptance of these technologies. While there are reports that AV and CV technologies, as we call them, could be ready in the next two to three years, we wish to clarify that their introduction will begin slowly and in a very controlled fashion, likely beginning with dedicated commercial applications, such as ride-sharing, before becoming available to consumers. As the technology progresses and rolls out, Transport Canada has a key role to play in ensuring nationally coordinated and aligned regulatory approaches that are informed by and synchronized with U.S. regulatory and non-regulatory approaches.
We would like to acknowledge recent progress, including amendments to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act that allow for the testing and deployment of new technologies where conflicts with current regulations exist. There have also been actions that make the act more nimble to align regulations with rapidly developing industry and U.S. requirements, given our largely shared driving conditions and public policy objectives.
In addition, the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications have issued their report, “Driving Change: Technology and the future of the automated vehicle”, and Transport Canada has initiated consultation on policy options for enhancing the safety regime for AVs and CVs. Transport Canada is also engaging with the provinces and territories through the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.
As preparation continues, it is critical to ensure that approaches are aligned across jurisdictions and to avoid barriers that may inhibit the testing and deployment of these technologies in Canada. These actions are essential for Canada to attract activities that would support the global efforts, given the substantial testing and research that are already taking place in other jurisdictions.
We are also acutely aware that data privacy and cybersecurity are key elements for successful deployment and public acceptance of automated and connected vehicles. They are a priority for the auto industry, the consumer, and government. Data protection and data privacy are embedded from the earliest stages of product development. As these technologies evolve, CVMA member companies will continue to comply with the comprehensive Canadian federal and provincial privacy laws that are in place to safeguard consumers' personal information. Federally, this includes PIPEDA as well as CASL.
Automakers are also proactive when it comes to actions to address cybersecurity issues. Security features are implemented in every stage of vehicle design and manufacturing. The sector also has a long history of partnering with public and private research groups and of participating in forums on emerging issues. The Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center—Auto-ISAC, as it's called—was created in July 2015 to identify and share information on potential cyber-threats as part of industry’s ongoing efforts to safeguard electronic systems and networks.
As automated vehicles and connected vehicle technologies are developed and implemented, continued discussion will be needed in many areas, but I will end here by reinforcing the commitment of CVMA members to the safety and privacy of Canadians and our commitment to constructive dialogue with the government as these technologies continue to advance.
Thank you very much.
Thank you for inviting me.
It is widely understood that over the next decade the transportation sector will experience more change than it has experienced in the last century. New vehicular technologies and new mobility models will profoundly impact how people and goods move around.
On the technology side, connectivity and automation will become an integral part of the mobility landscape. The combination of these technologies holds promise for safer, more democratized, and, if planned for appropriately, more sustainable mobility through the appropriate use of AVs. Around the world, governments are introducing regulations favouring the arrival of these vehicles and investing in the creation of industry hubs around connected and autonomous vehicular technologies in the hopes of attracting mobility stakeholders who will invest locally, resulting in strong economic benefits.
In Canada, the Province of Ontario has taken the lead in supporting the development and integration of these technologies. Through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, the Government of Ontario is investing with private industry in R and D efforts. The availability of qualified people to work on the development of these technologies is, of course, key to attracting stakeholders. The internationally recognized work of the University of Waterloo in AV-related research, for example, is attracting private industry attention and investment.
In December 2017, the Quebec government introduced Bill 165 to amend the Highway Safety Code and other provisions. It provides for the special rules that could be set under a pilot project authorized by the minister to allow AVs to operate on Quebec's road network. As was said previously, the time to act is now to ensure that Canada is an important player in what is expected to be a multi-billion-dollar industry.
With the expertise of its members, Electric Mobility Canada is uniquely positioned to understand and to promote the accelerated adoption of AVs as a key component of sustainable mobility. We are convinced that future connected and autonomous vehicles must be equipped with electric propulsion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We encourage the Government of Canada to study the impacts of connected vehicles and AVs as part of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change and to develop regulations that will ensure that future vehicular technologies are electric.
The International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance, with member jurisdictions in Europe and North America, including two in Canada, in Quebec and B.C., is currently studying the future of shared autonomous fleets and how to ensure that these fleets are composed of electric vehicles. The jurisdictions seek to collaborate with other governments to expand the global ZEV market and enhance government co-operation on ZEV policies in order to strengthen and coordinate efforts to combat air pollution, limit global climate change, and reduce oil dependency by increasing ZEV deployment.
I am the project manager of this initiative and I lead the work the alliance is doing. I encourage the Government of Canada to learn from the work being undertaken by this alliance.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities should study how to ensure that connected and automated vehicles are electric. This study should have three objectives.
The first is to determine the advantages of electric AVs on Canada’s climate change. Today transportation generates approximately a quarter of the country's GHG emissions. If the number of vehicle kilometres travelled increases, as is being expected, with the arrival of AVs, without a change in propulsion technologies we can reasonably expect that the transportation sector will result in significant increases in GHG emissions. Given GHG emissions generated by the transportation sector, given Canada’s climate change commitments, and given the unknowns surrounding usage of AVs, it is imperative that the committee recommend and document the numerous benefits associated with future vehicular technologies that are electric.
The second objective is to determine the areas of federal regulation. The Canadian federal government is to act in the best interests of Canadians. In the area of AVs and CVs, collaborating and learning from other jurisdictions, as well as organizations such as the ZEV Alliance, is recommended. The proposed work that we're suggesting should evaluate the impacts of these technologies and related business models in order to develop policies, regulations, and programs that have the individual Canadian, the economy, and the environment in mind, and it should comprise three elements.
First is determining how to ensure the safety of the technology, how we test for it.
Second is undertaking an assessment of how data laws will need to be changed to reflect the best interest of Canadians. This includes custody, access, and use of the mobility data, and an evaluation of how best to collaborate with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments on these technologies to ensure that sustainable mobility models are in place.
The third part of this study is to identify economic benefits and opportunities for employment creation in this country. We've talked about the loss of jobs. We now need to figure out how the arrival of this technology and these business models can develop jobs in this country.
Hello. I am Kent Rathwell, from Sun Country Highway.
Many years ago, really before anything much was happening in the electric vehicle sector, we decided that if the fact that electric vehicles couldn't actually travel wasn't dealt with, then the electric vehicle would die. It would be no different from gas vehicles without gas stations.
Back in about 2011, we decided to electrify the entire Trans-Canada Highway from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Victoria, B.C., and to do it without any government money. We wanted to prove that average individuals and Canadians across the country could actually come together to ensure that the electric vehicle did not die globally.
We electrified the Trans-Canada from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Victoria, B.C., in a matter of eight months. In the ninth month, we drove 10,000 kilometres in a car that was faster and sexier than virtually everybody's car in the world. It had no tail pipes, and the infrastructure was actually a few hundred per cent faster than what the automotive sector had designated as their limit for level 2 charging.
We drove it in the middle of the winter to prove that in Canada, even in virtually the most rugged and coldest climate in the world, electric vehicle infrastructure was in. We put to it bed. We showed that not only can cars be fast and sexy, but they can travel with no emissions, and the whole network was actually free. Since then, we've virtually electrified most of Canada's highways with the same technology.
In regard to the automotive sector, they still haven't caught up completely on the level 2 capabilities at which we can actually charge their cars, which is a few hundred per cent faster than what their cars can do today, other than Tesla and a couple of other car companies that have followed our lead.
We've rolled out this infrastructure to numerous countries now, and at the end of the day, we've proved that cars can travel pretty much across our country and can charge up a lot faster than the current standards with an infrastructure that's already in place today. The automotive sector, however, hasn't caught up to that level.
Basically, I am here to add some feedback on what the rollout of autonomous vehicles could be.
We've been involved with bringing other automakers to Canada to get Canadian engineering and design and Canadian parts. Actually, all their crash tests are done in Canada as well.
In regard to autonomous vehicles, it is a new sector. It's growing rapidly and it is going to be safer than what we have presently. It has been said that we're looking at upwards of a few trillion dollars by 2025 in the sector.
Canada can either focus on why it's too difficult to do and get done, or we can focus on the low-hanging fruit, try to implement autonomous driving in some capabilities and some areas that we can implement quickly, and become a world leader on this front. If we do so, we have the ability not only to drive our economy but also, as a previous witness mentioned, to save lives.
We can also reduce emissions. In Canada, transportation emissions are one of our largest issues in combatting climate change, and we can do it very easily in the transportation sector.
Again, I thank you for having me here today.
Do you want me to address the infrastructure issue?
It depends on the kind of development that is taking place right now. There are organizations like Waymo, for example, which is considered to be one of the leaders in the development in this technology, that are moving forward assuming that there will be no changes to infrastructure. However, there has to be a minimum amount of.... For example, we need minimal potholes. If you go into any city, particularly Montreal, you'd think you were in a war zone. The condition of our roads needs to allow these vehicles to function appropriately.
The other thing that is considered minimal is being able to see the lane markings. I think many of the developers will say the same thing. If we can have quality pavement and be able to see the lane markings, much of the technology that is being developed can certainly function in collaboration with appropriate mapping technologies.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I want to dig a bit deeper into the weeds here, especially as we had the discussion earlier, and put a lens on both the manufacturers and the consumers.
I have two questions.
Take into consideration that we as a government are attempting to be an enabler. We're attempting to give the sector tools through our research and development programs, our innovations programs, and our science programs, and with that we're trying to facilitate between levels of government—whether they be federal, provincial, municipal, or the different ministries within both federal and provincial levels of government—and of course make proper investments in infrastructure so that we best prepare for this change in culture. The last point I want to make before I ask my questions is to say that the culture is not just about driving but also about the way product is delivered, and transit, and the list goes on.
Taking that all into consideration, it's twofold. First, what more can we do as a government to enable industry to bring the yardsticks down the field that much quicker, as was alluded to earlier from the previous delegates?
My second question is about the best interests of the consumer, because we recognize that there is going to be a great deal of advantage when it comes to revenue opportunities for manufacturers. They're going to be able to accrue new revenues versus one-time buying of the vehicle and moving on. There's not much accrual left in that process. Now with data collection, advertising, and things of that nature, there are going to be a lot of opportunities for those manufacturers to realize revenues.
My second question is about the consumer. Are there going to be opportunities for the consumer to take advantage of lower pricing or for the consumer to take advantage of that accrual of revenue opportunities for those different areas that the vehicle is now going to offer?
Perhaps I can take a stab at that.
First off, with these technologies, it won't be next year or perhaps the next. It's going to be a slow introduction. We don't need to have ZEVs as the only ones—in fact, they probably all won't be ZEVs to begin with—but we certainly see electric vehicles as being a major component of the future under autonomous vehicles.
We're moving to a shared economy. We're moving to not just shared riding, but a shared economy in which people may not necessarily buy a vehicle, but they will get all the benefits of transportation they would otherwise get with a vehicle. That will offer a whole bunch of opportunities in terms of mobility and for people who are disabled, and there will be consumer benefits in that respect.
We talk about advertising and economic opportunity in terms of sales and things like that, but that's probably the least of our objectives. What we're concerned about is building a vehicle that's safe, that will be able to anticipate all road conditions, that will be connected to the infrastructure in a way that will facilitate the movement of vehicles and reduce congestion and emissions. It's all of those things.
We have to be careful here, because this is not plug-in technology. This technology has been integrated into the design and making of the vehicle from the ground up. That's because we have to anticipate every type of road condition and weather condition and the integration with the infrastructure itself, and that is a huge task. This is why we are moving forward with research partnerships with universities and institutes here in Canada on artificial intelligence and so forth.
This is part of the other economy that we will benefit from. Consumers themselves are going to get this benefit with perhaps not all the costs associated with ownership, and that's really the key thing here.
We'll be spending probably $100 billion on zero-emission vehicles, electric vehicles, so they will be very much a part of the future, but we have to make a distinction between connected vehicles and AVs. That's not driven by electric vehicles; it's driven by simply the autonomous side of it, the benefits that accrue in terms of reducing injuries and fatalities and mobility. ZEVs will be part of that in the future, but I can tell you that it will be a combination of those things while we go through the transition period, and that transition period will take some time.
These are very complicated issues, and our industry wants to go about it in a way that is managed and deliberate. That's why it's important to be working with Transport Canada and the provinces across the country to make sure we have consistent regulations that won't inhibit or impede the introduction of these technologies.
My advice would be to continue what you're doing, but one thing we have to be sure to avoid is the introduction of impediments by lack of coordination, lack of consistency.
Between Canada and the United States, vehicles move back and forth across the border. There's really no border, because the vehicles are ubiquitous. We're a little behind NHTSA, the national highway transportation system, in the sense that they have a whole set of different policies as to what vehicle manufacturers should look at in terms of automated vehicle design and deployment. Those are the things that we should be moving forward with on our own and being consistent with.
We need to be consistent. We should not be allowing individual municipalities, for instance, to put in place their own requirements, because that will definitely slow down the advance of these technologies. It's consistency north-south, consistency east-west.
That's what's critical, and government has a role.
In every analysis and evaluation that has taken place to date internationally to try to evaluate the number of vehicle kilometres travelled with AVs, the estimates have ranged anywhere from a 50% to a 100% increase in the number of kilometres travelled. That means that if these kilometres continue to be travelled with internal combustion engines, given the importance of the transportation sector in generating greenhouse gas emissions, we're going to be in a very difficult situation, as a country or even internationally, for meeting many of our climate change mitigation objectives if we do not think about this in advance and start to put rules in place.
For example, there are municipalities and countries around the world that are already saying that in 2030 or 2035, depending on the jurisdiction, there will be no more internal combustion engine vehicles. What I'm suggesting is that as we prepare for a future of AVs, given what we already know in terms of the number of vehicle kilometres travelled, we should already be starting to think about introducing electric drives in those vehicles.