Self-Driving Delivery Vehicles Worry Two-Thirds of Canadians

Only a third of us would be comfortable in a driverless car


By Jennifer Hughes


While all modern cars are automated to some extent, with sensors to keep us in our lanes and check our blind spots for us, it “could be many years” before fully automated self-driving cars are common on Canadian roads, according to Transport Canada. But to help prepare for that day, the federal institution commissioned Environics Research to conduct a study to get an idea of what Canadians know and think about automated cars.

The results, released recently, showed that the nearly three-quarters (73%) of the 3,113 Canadians surveyed online agreed to some extent that system security and data privacy will become a cause for worry as vehicles become more and more connected and automated. Many (66%) said they have concerns about fully automated delivery vehicles, while only one in three (33%) would be comfortable riding in a fully automated car.

However, Canadians do see value in automation: 42% agree that automated cars help to keep the roads safe (42%), and half (51%) say that automated vehicles could reduce driver error and decrease the number of bad or impaired drivers; 40% say that automated vehicles can make life easier for elderly or disabled drivers.

Fully self-driving vehicles employ sensors and onboard computers to navigate and determine speed, just as current vehicles use sensors and computers for automated features such as cruise control or blind spot monitoring.

Photo: iStock/metamorworks.