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Autonomous Vehicles

Vehicle technology is advancing at a rapid rate, and while our vehicles may not be driving themselves the technology is moving in that direction.

Nearly every car on the road offers some form of automation — cruise control, for instance. Automakers have been introducing more and more of these features on newer vehicles.  This technology can result in positive benefits for consumers such as fewer collisions, better traffic flow, and reduced stress for drivers.  However, there will be challenges along the way.

  • CAA is actively following this technology as it develops to ensure the consumer experience is a positive one as autonomous vehicles roll out.
  • Vehicles are collecting a vast amount of data about their drivers and CAA wants to ensure consumers understand what information is being collected and can control who has access to it.

Vehicle Data  Privacy

In an autonomous car, components such as cameras, radar, sonar, and GPS are expected to generate large amounts of data.  Each autonomous vehicle will collect significantly more data than all of the other connected devices a person owns and uses.

Over the span of one day, the data created by almost 3,000 people will be equivalent to the information collected by just one autonomous vehicle.

With the pace of technology development in vehicles and the vast amount of data being collected, a key concern for CAA is the protection of consumer privacy.

CAA national polling has found that 81% of Canadians feel there is a need for clear, enforced rules to protect the privacy of their personal information when it comes to vehicle data.

CAA holds the view that vehicle owners should be informed about what data is being collected, and be able within reasonable limits to choose with whom they share it.

CAA advocates on behalf of drivers to ensure that vehicle manufacturers and policy makers understand the implications of emerging vehicle technology on personal privacy. Enjoying the benefits of in-car technology should not have to come at the cost of abandoning all rights to personal privacy.

Submission to Senate Committee

CAA testified in front of the Senate Standing Committee of Transport and Communications to comment on the regulatory and safety issues related to the deployment of connected and automated vehicles.

Technology Terms Explained

Connected Car: A vehicle that is equipped with access to the Internet, usually through a local area network (LAN). Connectivity allows the vehicle to share information and connect with other devices inside and outside of the car. Connected cars are not necessarily autonomous or driverless.

Autonomous vehicle (also known as a driverless car or self-driving car): A vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. Advanced onboard control systems interpret the information to identify the best route as well as obstacles.

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*The majority of newer vehicles on the road today have some form of Level 1 autonomy while Tesla’s autopilot would be considered a Level 2 autonomous feature.

What Do Canadians Think?


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1/2

Half of Canadians trust their driving skills over technology.

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40%

40% of Canadians think driverless vehicle technology will advanced to the point where they will trust it in five years or less, with 25% saying they already trust the technology.

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Less than half of Canadians are aware of the type of data their vehicle collects about them.

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81%

81% of Canadians say clear, enforced rules are needed to protect the privacy of personal information collected by vehicles.

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