Government: DecodedFrustrated by the lack of government action, one Toronto resident took matters into his own hands. Despite years of requesting speed reductions, the city has failed to lower limits on Fee Gunn's residential street. In response, the resident used the inner workings of old hard drives to create a mirrored sculpture of sorts, completely covering a tree in his front yard. This artistic neighbour feels that his reflective sculpture will provide a visual "speedbump," requiring curious motorists to slow down to take in the attraction. Road safety advocates are split on this type of strategy, acknowledging it may cause more distraction than de-acceleration.
Signed, sealed, delivered — the stunt driving ticket is yours. The Ontario government officially passed the proposed Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS), making it law as of July 1st. The new legislation increases the penalties for speed racing and stunt driving; a licence seizure increases from seven days to 30, in addition to a 14-day vehicle seizure. The speed thresholds have changed too, so expect to get hit with the MOMS-related law if you're caught going 40 km/h over, a reduction from the previous 50 km/h. Politicians and road safety advocates alike hope this will slow the roll of Fast and the Furious wannabes. We're curious if the penalty — or the mental image of your MOMS wagging her finger at you — will be incentive enough to pump the brakes. Either way, this bill is necessary as drivers continue to clock higher speeds, often with fatal consequences.
Let's get electric! Canada is investing over a billion dollars in making electric vehicles more affordable while also increasing access to charging stations across the country. With an ambitious goal of having all new passenger vehicles sold in Canada be electric by 2035, the government is handing out funding to communities and organizations to get them plugged into the goal. From BC to NWT to the University of Waterloo campus, the feds have been busy this month, doling out funds to charge things up. Also part of this initiative? Electric buses — the feds announced a $1.5B investment into a zero-emissions bus initiative. Positively electrifying.
NewsworthyThere seems to be a new startup joining the self-driving car race daily, but this one had us take note. Raquel Urtasun — artificial intelligence wiz kid, University of Toronto prof, and former head of Uber's Autonomous Technology Group – has gone out on her own with the creation of Waabi. With backing from major AV players like Aurora, Waabi is focusing its initial efforts on commercial trucking, using a simulator to keep things safe while accelerating the development of their self-driving tech.
For students unsure of their return to campus this fall, the University of Waterloo may have sweetened the deal a bit. The school has just shared that they will be operating the country's first driverless shuttle at an academic institution, operating remotely on new 5G technology, to transport students and staff around campus. To ensure safety amongst the crush of students running late for class, the shuttle features 360° cameras, LIDAR sensors, and a remote operator that can override the controls if needed. The biggest question of all: if you're late for class, can you blame the technology?