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Canada slips in ranking of self-driving readiness

Canada slips in ranking of self-driving readiness

Open this photo in gallery A test vehicle belonging to Argo AI, Ford’s autonomous vehicle unit, is parked at the company offices in Pittsburgh. Global industries and governments are racing to bring self-driving vehicles to their streets and – just as importantly – competing to make the greatest strides to capture that market.

Consulting giant KPMG’s Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index, released on Feb. 12, rates major industrial countries on their ability to adopt self-driving vehicles en masse. The report weighs the melee of factors that go into putting autonomous vehicles, or AVs, on the road. It can be a confusing mix, from rapidly advancing technology to slow changes in consumer sentiment, government policy and major infrastructure renewal. The countries that ranked higher are those that had very clear, large-scale AV initiatives. In the report, clear policies and attention-grabbing programs are key.

Now in its second year, the index rates Canada 12th out of of 25 countries, a drop of five places from the inaugural report.

“Canada has done all the right things. It’s just a matter of standing a little taller,” says KPMG’s Colin Earp, national transport lead for Canada.

The market for autonomous vehicles is expected to grow into the trillions of dollars in the coming decades. Countries are quickly adopting major initiatives, including dedicated communities for testing driverless vehicles in Singapore and plans to develop fleets of driverless freight trucks on highways, in the works between the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

“If it ends up a huge global business, then being at the front of the queue in exporting to the rest of the marketplace – in terms capabilities, innovation and infrastructure – is absolutely [a top priority],” Earp says.

Canada’s advantages for developing autonomous technology include a highly skilled work force and leading work in artificial intelligence, KPMG found. The report ranks […]

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