Winnipeg city council has approved a motion to study the ramifications of autonomous vehicles, joining other Canadian cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
“It has tremendous implications for how much road we build and where we build them,” said Coun. Matt Allard representing the St. Boniface riding. “There are even financial ramifications from reduced parking ticket and traffic violation fines.
“I think most of us can see the writing on the wall.”
Allard said as much as police will say traffic fines are about safety and not revenue, the financial implications cannot be ignored.
“The reality is if that is one of your revenue streams, you can’t ignore that you might not have access to that stream anymore.”
He said the implications go beyond roadways and infrastructure, as autonomous vehicles have the potential to completely change how cities grow, where people live and where industry and businesses locate.
Last year, the Conference Board of Canada, in a report titled Automated Vehicles: The Coming of the Next Disruptive Technology, predicted a massive societal change, from the near elimination of parking downtown to newfound interest in public transportation to serious threats to industries such as collision repair, hospitality and taxi and limousine service.
The board recommended cities start planning now, so widespread are the implications.