Report on impact of self-driving cars could be before Vancouver council by fall

googlecarVancouver engineering staff have recruited a researcher and begun preliminary analysis of the implications of driverless cars for the city’s transportation sector. A report should come to council as early as this fall.

The project is in response to a motion I took to council in February asking for a full assessment of the impact of autonomous and driverless vehicles, which many believe will be in wide use in as little as five years.

In a memo to council April 15, city engineer Jerry Dobrovolny says the new technology could improve safety, efficiency and open up space for walking, cycling and transit.

On the other hand, there are serious potential negative consequences, including increased car use, under certain scenarios, and significant loss of employment. Dobrovolny also has concerns about managing the transition from the current fleet to autonomous vehicles.