Which countries are warming to autonomous vehicles?

Published: January 30, 2019

Updated: February 28, 2019

Author: Luke Jones



Countries around the world ramped up their efforts in the testing of autonomous vehicles through 2018. Self-driving tested was impacted following a fatality involving an Uber autonomous vehicle in Arizona in late 2017. After a delay, manufacturers, system developers, and regulators are refocusing on development.

Allowing self-driving vehicles to move through testing has developed through legislation and regulatory frameworks. For example, in the United Kingdom regulatory frameworks are a reference for global governments. In July 2018, the UK government introduced the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018, which merged autonomous vehicle regulations with auto insurance.

Under the Act, drivers in the country are protected when they operate a vehicle and when the autonomous system is engaged.

In the United States, approval of regulations has been harder to come by. Individual states previously had the power to block the use of autonomous vehicles. This posed issues for drivers who may cross state lines from a blocking state to an allowing state.

In response, the federal government passed a bill that prevented individual states from creating their own self-driving rules.

As we have reported often, Canada’s relationship with the autonomous vehicle has also been bumpy. Still, changes are happening, such as Ontario’s recent recommencement of its pilot program for self-driving cars.

Recently, Testing Highly Automated Vehicles in Canada: Guidelines for Trial Organizations was introduced by Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau. The project is a collaboration between the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and Transport Canada to develop and test new autonomous vehicle solutions.