British Columbia Outlaws Self-Driving Cars


british columbia outlaws self driving cars

Americans, especially Californians, have good reason to be skeptical of autonomous vehicles. There have been multiple crashes and plenty of annoying traffic holdups as companies test robotaxis and other vehicles, and now, some Canadians are taking action to prevent similar issues.

The British Columbia provincial government moved to ban autonomous vehicles, making anything exceeding the standard for SAE Level 2 driving illegal. As The Drive noted, the government said that the “Motor Vehicle Act prohibits a person from driving, or permitting the driving of, a Level 3, 4, or 5 automated vehicle. This means that highly automated self-driving vehicles cannot yet be driven on public roads in B.C., nor can highly automated self-driving feature be used.” Fines could reach $2,000 Canadian for offenses, and some violations could result in up to a six-month prison sentence, though it’s worth noting that much less severe consequences are likely.

Only a handful of consumer-ready cars currently offer higher than Level 2 autonomy, including some high-end Mercedes models. The ruling does not affect Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, Ford’s BlueCruise, or GM’s Super Cruise.

Despite sliding under the radar, Ford and Tesla have come under fire for their driving systems’ driver monitoring and safety capabilities, as vehicles from both companies have been involved in deadly crashes over the last year. General Motors’ Cruise autonomous vehicle operations are slowly coming back online after a halt of testing due to a crash, though it’s unclear how widespread the recovery will be or how long it will take to get there.

[Image: Engel Ching via Shutterstock]

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