A win for technology: Toronto's automated enforcement cameras (aka speed cameras) have actually been shown to reduce speeds on city streets. The pilot project's good news story comes after the first year of implementation, which showed a downward trend of speeding from July to November 2020 compared to the same measured time period in the previous year. Met initially with a lot of frustration, the pilot has proven itself, so be on the lookout for more cameras potentially coming to streets near you.
Time's run out on your expired plate stickers — the Ontario government just announced that the extension offered as a pandemic relief strategy is coming to a close. This means expired licences, plate tags, and other out-of-date documents will no longer be eligible for deferral. The province is giving almost everyone until February 28, 2022 to renew, and bonus — you can do most of it online. Just note that if you haven't renewed during the pandemic, you'll be stuck with the backlogged fees, in addition to any current fees.
If you live in a Canadian border town, the roads may have been a little busier than usual lately. This August, Canada opened up its land borders to fully vaccinated Americans, allowing them to enter for non-essential travel for the first time since March 2020. And travel they did — the Canadian government reports that the number of travellers entering the country doubled in the first week of opening. While individuals driving across the border is still much lower than pre-pandemic rates, this influx is the most we've seen in a long time. Ontario and the Pacific region had the highest number of visitors, with all border provinces experiencing a surge.
Finding testing grounds for self-driving vehicles can be tricky — many public roads don't have the regulatory framework to support it yet, while private roads may not offer long enough stretches to adequately test technology. So autonomous driving manufacturer, Nuro, did what any company valued at $5B does — took over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a $40M move to create a 74 acre, 125,000-square-foot assembly facility and test track. The long-term vision will scale production of the company's battery-powered robotic delivery vehicles, currently used to drop off things like FedEx packages, pizza, and groceries.
The authorities are catching up to Tesla and not on the highway. After 11 collisions where a Tesla plowed into an emergency vehicle, the US's National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has launched an inquiry into the vehicle's Autopilot mode. Despite flashing lights and well-marked vehicles (ahem… like large, red fire trucks), the car's detection system failed to recognize and mitigate the risk. This scrutiny is the latest for the troubled automaker, as Tesla has been under the microscope due to several seemingly preventable collisions. At the announcement of the NHTSA inquiry, Tesla stock dropped by 5%, and the company wasn't prepared to comment on the investigation.
If you're planning a road trip to Newfoundland and Labrador this fall, there is a bit of local knowledge you'll need: when to call moose. Seriously. The large and in-charge animals are common in the eastern province, and with weights up to 700kg, can cause severe and even fatal damage to motorists. The local Save Our People Action Committee has launched a hotline for motorists to report roadside moose sightings. These sightings are then broadcast on local radio stations, hopefully preventing dangerous collisions with the four-legged creatures — a charming solution to a terrifying issue.