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Make Way for Self-Driving Cars: Winnipeg Councillor Calls for Study

July 26, 2016 10:23 AM | News

Google Car

A Google self-driving car goes on a test drive near the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., on May 13, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eric Risberg)

Self-driving cars have already hit the streets of Winnipeg, but one city councillor wants a broader study for their widespread adoption in the future.

St. Boniface Councillor Matt Allard wants the city to study potential impacts of mass driverless cars on city streets.

“Self-driving vehicles may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the truth is is that self-driving cars have already been on Winnipeg streets, car companies are investing heavily in research, and some are expected to be commercially available by 2020,” said Allard.

“This is happening, not tomorrow, today.”

Allard says other major Canadian cities, such as Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver are already studying the issue, considering how policy areas such as transportation, land use, and development planning might be impacted.

Allard says some expert analysis has suggested self-driving cars could help move up to five times current traffic volume on the same road infrastructure.

The motion will be put forward to a committee on Friday, where Allard will ask for it to be referred to the Executive Policy Committee.

Winnipeg-based Nott AutoCorp recently introduced two self-driving Tesla model vehicles. Each comes with a price tag north of $100,000.