Let’s be clear about it: autonomous vehicle regulations are economic development strategies designed to help governments attract R&D investments. South Australia’s interest in attracting investment is apparent in the speed with which regulations, appealing to Google, are arriving.
Visitors to the 2020 Olympic Games will be able to see and use self-driving cars running in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, suggesting a change of rules over the next five years in Japan. While the western world continues to trial its driverless cars without any paying customers in them, Japan’s Robot Taxi Inc. is taking the bold step of testing a driverless taxi service in 2016. According to The Wall Street Journal, the service will be offered to around 50 people in Kanagawa prefecture outside of Tokyo, with the driverless cars taking them from their homes to local grocery stores. A human operator will remain in the driver’s seat, just in case there are any hiccups.
Meanwhile, in Canada, the government of Ontario is planning to make an announcement related to driverless technology. The seeds are being planted by several government representatives, including Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca. Moreover, the Transportation Evolution Institute is invited by the Minister of Transportation to be part of an exciting roundtable discussion on the future of automated vehicles in Ontario.