AuthorNathan Baker
The automobile has been arguably the most impactful achievement of
the twentieth century. It has allowed freedom of movement for people
and goods, generated urban development, and created industries. Canada,
with a small population spread over a huge geography, is highly dependent
on the automobile. Consequently, technology has a profound impact on
the use of automobiles across the country. Drivers in Canada may encoun-
ter dangerous winter weather, long stretches of f‌lat prairie, and twisted
mountain roads. Driving in Canada, or anywhere, is “an inherently dan-
gerous activity, but one that is of both legal and . . . social value.”1
The vast majority of Canadians live in urban areas; nonetheless, to
allow an automated vehicle to function well, a staggering number of
kilometres of road would need mapping. This would be a dicult and
expensive process. Converting non-autonomous vehicles into automated
vehicles over time and the public appetite for the technology will inf‌lu-
ence their impact. Some of the benef‌its of automated vehicles become
exponentially greater at higher levels of automation and with higher rates
of acceptance by drivers—overall safety is more enhanced when highly
automated vehicles are used by greater numbers of people. It may be that
1 RvRoy, 2012 SCC 26 at para 34, referencing R v Beatty, 2008 SCC 5 at paras 31 and 34.

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