Why autonomous vehicles won’t be taking over Ontario’s city streets in 2022

“We are way far from that level where a machine can drive like humans in any conditions,” said Amir Khajepour, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo.

“Whether that will happen in my lifetime, I’m not sure.”

The biggest, according to Khajepour, is making machines that mirror brain functioning when we drive, and that is far from easy. Add in debates about insurance and ethics, and it’s clear there’s a lot more to the industry than just technology…

Raed Kadri, the vice president of strategic initiatives and head of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), which connects researchers with industry, points out there is another factor: electric vehicles, which presents other challenges.

A 2020 paper published by Carnegie Mellon University researchers found driverless cars use more energy than cars requiring drivers, which reduced driving range and required more charging. Researchers are now looking at how drivers feel about the decreased range.