BC Conservatives Demand Autonomous Vehicle Legislation, Propose Pilot Project
Scott Anderson, interim leader of the BC Conservative Party, believes British Columbia should be at the forefront of the coming transportation revolution by proactively introducing framework legislation to allow autonomous vehicles on our roads.
The BC Conservatives propose legislation to allow autonomous vehicle testing on BC streets, similar to the legislation enacted in Ontario, but further reaching, as in the case of Virginia, where autonomous vehicles can be tested in real-world conditions.
Automakers and some technology companies hope to begin deploying driverless vehicles around 2020, and at least one manufacturer of light autonomous vehicles is ready for deployment as early as next year. In terms of heavy trucking, Loblaw Companies Ltd. has already pre-ordered 25 electric self-driving trucks from Tesla. The autonomous programming software is already installed in them, but dormant because there is no legislation for its use. Meanwhile, as of 2017 33 US states have introduced autonomous vehicle legislation and 21 states have actually passed legislation related to autonomous vehicles.
"We are at the cusp of a revolution in transportation that will rival the transition from horse to automobile in importance," said Anderson. "Autonomous vehicles are coming far faster than we think, and coupled with the cheap, clean energy that Site C and other development projects will produce, these technologies will revolutionize our existence...everything from our use of streets to how we work and live will be impacted."
Autonomous vehicles are expected to save lives, lower insurance costs, and reduce injuries. Various studies have found that human error is the culprit in between 90% and 97% of crashes, and a 2014 study found that U.S. traffic crashes cost society $836 billion annually.
"Both the BC Liberals and the BC NDP missed the opportunity to prepare a legislative framework for the legalization of cannabis," said Anderson, "and they're going to be caught flat footed again now that autonomous vehicle technology is at its maturation point. We should be watching and preparing for the future instead of trying to turn the clock back to pre-industrial times as the Green Party seems to want to do, or focusing on shutting down business as the NDP did with projects like the Ajax mine."
"I am concerned that the other major parties in BC seem to be focused on telling people how they ought to live and throwing roadblocks in front of progress," said Anderson. "It's time to look to the future with a sense of optimism and allow our industries and entrepreneurs to thrive instead of trying to hold them back at every turn."
The BC Conservative Party believes in encouraging the development and deployment of market-driven technologies. The party believes that market forces are the most effective and efficient way to bring technology online once it is mature, and that the responsibility of government is not to try to direct the development of those technologies but to pave the way for their development and deployment.
For more information:
Scott Anderson, Interim Leader, BC Conservative Party
Telephone: (250) 434-2550 | http://www.bcconservative.ca/