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TTC not ready to commit to driverless buses

CityNews | posted Friday, Mar 24th, 2017

The TTC says it will take a wait-and-see approach before committing to driverless technology on its buses.

At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the TTC board accepted a report that determined there are too many unknowns to move forward with a business case on automated vehicles.

“We are not adverse to new technology, but I don’t think our customers will thank us if we race into adopting something completely radical like an autonomous vehicle before that’s been proven,” CEO Andy Byford said.

He added the TTC has had “its fingers burnt” by getting in on technology, like hybrid buses, too soon.

The TTC is a member of a working group on automated vehicles, which recently partnered with the University of Toronto to produce a report on incorporating driverless technology in city vehicles.

David Ticoll, author of Driving Changes: Automated Vehicles in Toronto, said riders could be using some form of an automated bus within the next two decades.

“The TTC will be doing it certainly by 2040 — it will be the main way of getting around — and very likely by 2030,” Ticoll said.

Many cities in Europe are already testing driverless vehicles, including Amsterdam and Paris.

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