CAVCOE is very pleased
to announce the appointment of three new Senior Associates:
Marie-France Laurin MBA has planned and implemented demonstrations of
autonomous shuttles, and before that, was involved in various projects in
the technology ecosystem. She is based in Montreal.
- Lars Christian is
an entrepreneur and educator based in Seattle. He has a Masters degree in
Sustainable Transportation from the College of Engineering at the University
- Silvia Christian has extensive multinational business
experience and has managed complex financial portfolios with special
emphasis on project and grant management and human resources. She is also
based in Seattle.
We are delighted to
welcome them to CAVCOE and look forward to working with them in the months
and years ahead.
will be held in
Ottawa on April 4, 2018.
Presented by the
Kanata North Business Association in partnership with Invest Ottawa and
CAVCOE, this one-day conference will
be held at the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata. The conference
successful AV summits in 2016 and 2017. This year,
the agenda has been expanded to include sessions not only on
the technology, but also on the broader deployment aspects including urban
planning, transit, regulations, and flying cars. We will let you know when
the web site and registration page are ready.
There were two key events in
January that are covered in more depth than our usual
- The tabling of the report Driving Change by the
Standing Senate (of Canada) Committee on Transport and Communications.
- The Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
And there were many other
news items in January that are also reported below.
Change, a report by the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and
Communications, was released at a press conference on January
29, 2018 in the National Press Theatre in Ottawa. Barrie Kirk and
Marie-France Laurin from CAVCOE were there. The full report is well worth
reading and is at:
Barrie provided expert testimony to the Committee and
we are pleased to see that key observations and recommendations from
his testimony were included.
highlights and recommendations from the report are:
believe Canada must start preparing for the arrival of this technology
now to ensure the country is
ready for this upcoming period of
- At the same
time it could also become a nightmare of significant job losses, car
hacking and the erosion of personal privacy.
- One witness
(Barrie Kirk) suggested the federal government is trying to move
forward with one foot on the gas pedal and one foot on the brake pedal,
with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada trying to
stimulate research and Transport Canada focusing on vehicle safety. The
committee recommends that these organizations create a joint policy unit
to co-ordinate federal efforts to implement a national strategy on
automated and connected vehicles.
- The report
recommended that Transport Canada monitor the impact of AV and CV
technologies on automobile insurance, infrastructure and public transit
- And also that
Employment and Social Development Canada continue to work closely with
the provinces and territories in order to strengthen retraining, skills
upgrading and employment support for Canadians facing labour market
provides varying predictions on when we might see AVs
in commercial operation on streets. The report quotes Barrie Kirk's
prediction of 2020 and says it is
"one of the more optimistic
predictions". Another witness pointed out that his
company already provides transportation services using low-level AVs.
A third witness was quoted as
saying "self-driving transportation could take root in urban areas in as
few as 10 to 15 years".
A key reason for the range of
predictions is the type of AV. Low-speed,
fully-automated shuttle buses are already in commercial operation in
various countries today. GM has announced (see below) that it will start
mass-producing a fully-autonomous car with no steering wheel or pedals
in 2019. Even allowing for development delays and testing,
commercial deployment in 2020 is
highly likely. However, all these early models will
operate in constrained environments that have been subjected to very
detailed mapping, not just GPS but also visual / image recognition. A
fully-autonomous vehicle that can go anywhere, any time, even on quiet
country lanes that have not been mapped will not be available until the
2030s. This distinction is important.
attended CES 2018 and prepared this report.
years, CES has become one of the place to attend if you are interested in
smart cities and new Mobility solutions,
especially autonomous vehicles. This year was no exception. From
traditional OEMs presenting
their new visions of autonomous vehicles to the technology companies
presenting their new prototypes, everyone wanted to show what they can do.
Lyft and Aptiv introduced their autonomous vehicle on the Main Street of
Las Vegas. The vehicles had pre-established stopping
points where people were invited to try the service.
also there to demonstrate two of their autonomous solutions: a shuttle that
has been demonstrated in mixed traffic in the old
part of Vegas since November, and the new
autonomous taxi that was demonstrated on a restricted lane in the same area.
Marie-France had the
opportunity to try the autonomous cab, a more elaborate solution that
includes an application to hail and track it. The
traveling experience was comfortable and
there were additional safety features which made
it a good experience. However, the safety features led to
a lot of abrupt stopping on the road due to
detection of potential hazards; Navya is still working on these elements.
The vehicle should evolve in the next months to
make the traveling experience smoother.
Many conference sessions also addressed autonomous vehicles and smart
cities. There were interesting presentations on
new solutions as well as more integrated plans of
multi-modal solutions showing what the future may
be like. It was interesting to see that the insurance industry has
now joined the conversation on autonomous vehicle and on the
liability issues arising from these new vehicles.
A key aspect of many presentations was that the
environment is always defined by the legislative framework.
governments are working on it, but again this year, it is not moving
as quickly as the technology is. Next year will be
crucial for the legislative frameworks in North America as some European and
Asian countries are moving much faster and will
therefore attract industry investment.
2018 also marked the introduction of the flying
taxi exposition. Various versions of these electric
and driverless planes were described to the CES attendees.
addition to the automotive CES pavilion, for the first time, there was an
entire section of CES dedicated to smart cities and located in the Westgates
hall. Over the next years, Marie-France predicts
this part of CES will increase as the topic
Aurora Innovation, founded by Chris
Urmson (formerly with Google/Waymo), Sterling Anderson (Tesla) and Drew
announced that they have landed partnerships with Volkswagen Group
(which includes Audi) and Hyundai to help bring AVs to the masses. Although
VW is registered in California to test AVs, the company's
disengagement report for 2016 stated that they did not test any vehicles in
CA up to November 2016.
This is a further indication that prior AV
technology development by major automotive brands has not been able to keep
up with the rapid development by small specialists startups, and that the
OEMs have to bring in the specialist knowledge if they want to keep up.
Previous examples include GM with Cruise
Automation and Ford with Argo.
GM has been increasing the pressure
on its rivals to be first to launch an AV shared fleet at scale by
announcing that it is ready to mass produce a vehicle with no
steering wheels or pedals ready for a 2019 launch.
In a petition to the US DoT, GM asked that the fourth generation Cruise AV
be given a waiver/variation from
regulations that were developed
based on human drivers.
made a major
announcement with a
tweet: “With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles
on the road, we’ve moved from research & development, to operations &
deployment. We're now growing our fleet with thousands more Pacifica
Waymo now has deals with Avis for fleet
maintenance and operations, Autonation
for vehicle maintenance, servicing and repairs and Trov for passenger
insurance. In other words, Waymo are well on the way to having all the
pieces in place to deploy a shared AV fleet at scale and to commence
startup spun out of an Udacity course, has found a very smart way to develop
its testing regime whilst building its business model. Starting in early
2018, it will be bringing its AVs to The Villages, Florida with a
self-driving taxi service for residents. This is a retirement community
with 125,000 residents, 750 miles of road and three distinct downtown areas.
With the rise and rise of Transportation
Network Companies like Uber and Lyft, and before the large scale deployment
of shared fleets of AVs, the next major battle on our streets is starting to
heat up. The battle for curb space may well define how mobility is changing
in cities. The Eno Center for Transportation has some
interesting views on how this all might develop.
CAVCOE was invited to participate in the
Autonomous Vehicle Policy Framework Summit held at
the Caltrans office in Los Angeles. Paul Godsmark attended and was
struck by the quality of the discussions and the frankness of the views and
concerns being shared by attendees from the public and private sectors as
well as academia. To hear a public sector person acknowledge that ‘AVs could
cannibalize transit’ was testament to the open-minded perspective adopted by
so many attendees. Because Paul felt a large topic
was not fully addressed by the original breakout group titles, he
volunteered to lead an additional group called ‘Group 8: Goods Movement and
The Canadian Council of Motor Transport
Administrators (CCMTA) and the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC)
presented a report titled ‘The Future of Automated Vehicles in Canada’ to
the Council of Ministers of Transportation and Highway Safety at the end of
January 2018. This
report is at a higher level than the Senate report and recommends that
federal and provincial governments; develop a National Policy Framework to
ensure safe AV deployment, work closely with
jurisdictions and international partners to align testing and
regulatory frameworks and to continue to promote and invest in industry and
academia to test and evaluate AV tech on public roads. We note that the
report references a KPMG report that estimates that Level 4 vehicles will be
commercialized from 2025 onwards. This does not compare well with the
announcement in this issue of AV Update that Waymo intend to commercialize
their Level 4 technology in 2018 – some 7 years earlier than the
CCMTA / TAC report predicts. This could possibly have an impact on
the short, medium and long term recommendations in
AV Update is a free, monthly roundup of news and analysis
in the world of automated vehicles and their impact on all levels of
government and the private sector.
Editors: Barrie Kirk, Paul
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© Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of
Excellence (CAVCOE) 2018
CAVCOE provides advice to public and
private sector stakeholders to help them plan
for the arrival of
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