News Local

Speed up on driverless cars: Meggs

By Eric MacKenzie

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Coun. Geoff Meggs believes Vancouver may already behind the curve on driverless cars and hopes the city can take action to change that.

A motion from Meggs will be on the table at Tuesday’s council meeting calling for city staff to investigate the implications of the burgeoning technology on Vancouver’s transportation network and future planning.

Speaking with 24 hours, Meggs said autonomous vehicles weren’t really on the radar when the city adopted its Transportation 2040 plan just four years ago, but Ontario and other jurisdictions are already working to accommodate them.

“This could be a very important part of transportation in less than 10 years,” said Meggs.

The motion states that “several manufacturers have indicated that they expect to have fully automated vehicles available by 2020-2025” and that they could “reach as much as 75% of sales by 2040.”

The Vision Vancouver councillor said “there are all kinds of possibilities” for driverless vehicles to deliver transportation efficiencies down the road, but there are plenty of questions to answer as well.

“People are concerned about the privacy of their driving data being shared inappropriately, there are questions of safety and liability — manufacturers say they’re safer, other people wonder,” said Meggs. “All of these things have to be explored, but we don’t want to make a mistake in implementing our transit strategy, which is already going very well.”

Meggs pointed out that the province will have plenty of work to do to prepare for the technology as well since it regulates B.C. highways.