Self-Driving Cars May Give Canadians a Licence to Behave Badly

According to a recent survey carried out by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, the image of drivers texting, dozing or sipping a martini while they sit at the wheel of self-driving cars prevails among a significant number of Canadians, The Globe and Mail is reporting.


The survey comes as auto makers, technology companies and parts suppliers spend billions in the race to develop fully autonomous vehicles. The non-profit road safety organization surveyed 2,600 Canadians, revealing that 9% of the participants would drink and drive, 10% would sleep, while 17% would do something unrelated to driving.

“These results are disturbing and illustrated that at least some drivers mistakenly believe that these vehicle technologies do not require driver input or attention at all times,” the foundation said in a report on the results, which will be released Thursday.

“This has considerable potential to increase crashes due to driver error and underscores that drivers may negatively modify their behaviour and decrease their safety because they do not understand the limitations of these technologies or how to use them correctly,” said the foundation, which is based in Nepean, Ont.

Nearly 35% of those surveyed said that if they were late, they would disengage self-driving technology in order to drive faster and 13% would take over so they could run red lights.

Self-Driving vehicles are being tested in pilot projects under controlled, ideal driving conditions in various U.S. states, although experts believe they are a decade or more away from being widely available.

“Technology runs through my veins...” | Follow me: @DrUsmanQ

  • iGard Anderson

    Don’t see it disturbing.. People just have different understanding of self-driving cars based on mostly sci-fi movies… Simple user education if needed will fix it

  • Jonni Martinez

    100% self driving carts were people can drive without a license or can drive without always watching the road wont be available till 2030 & beyond …

  • NoWorries

    Appears to be a problem with the survey. If you have a self driving car, the occupants including the driver are free to do what any passenger normally can. The results seem to reflect that. The survey should not refer to assistive technologies that do require the drivers attention as “self driving”

  • Kyle Lyles

    WRONG! My son works in Uber Autonomous. You are about to be blown away by how soon it’s going to happen.

  • Jonni Martinez

    yes i know about that technology, its already out in the market but an uber driver still needs to be at the drivers seat/holding the wheel … right now in various provinces around Canada we are just receiving electric cars & we are not ready to start having driverless cars run around … laws need to change, insurance needs to change, street pavements need to improve etc

  • Tim

    The point of a “self driving” car isn’t to make a vehicle that requires you to hover your hands over the wheel just in case it screws up. The point is to completely free us from the responsibility of driving it and that is coming sooner than the dude who said 2030.

  • Steve

    If you own an Acura with lane assist, you’ll be able to purchase GeoHot’s self-drive kit for $999 US. Yes, the same guy who Jailbroke the iPhone (Blackra1n, Limera1n), and hacked the PS4. For those who haven’t seen the Bloomberg Video, here it is: Apparently, according Hotz, it will be shipping out by the end of this year: