Store Locator

Changing Gears: Keeping an Eye on Autonomous Vehicle Developments

How CAA is staying on top of the latest advancements in autonomous vehicles

An illustration shows the overhead view of a car on the road and the range of its sensors

Since 1903 CAA has been helping drivers and advocating for road safety, ushering in a new era as automobiles overtook horses as the primary mode of transportation. Over the years, CAA has also been instrumental in educating drivers as road signs made their debut, the importance of wearing a seatbelt and cannabis legalization and its effects on driving. With autonomous vehicles (AVs) on the horizon, one can argue a similar shift is happening today. Here’s how CAA SCO is preparing to be part of the change.

Adapting to autonomous features

Although total autonomy may seem like the stuff of science fiction, today’s industry leaders are on the cusp of launching vehicles with complete autonomy abilities. AV technology isn't an all-or-nothing scenario though. Many autonomous features are already available in cars today, from simple driver assistance like adaptive cruise control to advanced technology like automatic lane changing.

This poses an interesting challenge and unique opportunity for automotive organizations like CAA. “Keeping up with technology is key in providing the right service," says Ramya Sree, Client Manager, Learning and Development at CAA. “We train our operators on newer technology on an ongoing basis,” Sree says. “They also utilize the CAA/AAA Towing Manual that provides pertinent information from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), which prepares the operators before the service.”

Educating Members about autonomous vehicles

CAA SCO Member panel research shows nearly one-third of Members are interested in learning more about AVs. CAA has created new educational resources, including an online portal with details about AV technology and the influence it may have on our roads. A study by CAA National found that nearly three-quarters of Canadians think AVs will improve accessibility, for example, opening up mobility options to population segments not otherwise able to get behind the wheel.

Addressing driverless car questions

Concerns also exist, with 80 per cent of CAA SCO Members saying trust in technology tops their list of worries. Others cited issues around cyber security and personal safety. Speaking to these hurdles, CAA created a series of articles for Members about common AV topics, such as essential things to know about AVs, and understanding the various levels of automation.

Perhaps this next development in automotive history won't be as dramatic as the invention of the car itself, but it will bring major change. Through it all, Members can count on CAA to stay on top of these advancements, adapt to them, answer your questions and continue to advocate for road safety along the way.

Read more about the future of driverless cars, and how CAA SCO is helping Members navigate and understand this new technology. 

Image credit: iStock.com/Andrey Suslov