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On The Road

The December Dispatch

This month, we cover paperless pink slips, electric scooters, delivery robots, and more.

by Alex Kelly

The intersection of transportation, tech, and everything else you need to know, brought to you by Onlia — where safety always comes first.

This month we look back at the 2019 trends that shaped transportation for the year. This was a busy year for the world of transportation and road safety, and we can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

Government got moving 

2019 was a big year for the provincial government’s transit agenda. The year kicked off with tougher distracted driving laws – as of January 1, 2019, a first-time offence would land you a $1000 fine, three-day licence suspension, and three demerit points. Cannabis and cars still don’t mix, while edibles hit the scene on the one-year anniversary of cannabis legalization. Pink insurance slips got the go-ahead to go paperless, as the government worked to build out its digital infrastructure.

Transit and commutes expand 

With population density and road congestion, transit is redefining itself as a multi-modal experience. Partnerships — like the one between the GTA transit agency Metrolinx and rideshare company Lyft – are extending networks to include a variety of transportation modes: cycling, ridesharing, trains, buses and light rail transit. 

The province weighed in with changes to transportation, piloting increased highway speed limits and as well as electric scooter permit programs. With provincial support, we also saw more municipalities start to equip school buses with stop-arm cameras, because apparently people still think it is okay to blow past a stopped school bus? (It isn’t. Ever.)

Vehicles: Next generation 

Globally, electric cars experienced a huge surge, with more original equipment manufacturers (OEM)  getting on the bandwagon. This is no longer a thing of the future; electric is here! Automakers are said to be investing a collective $225 billion into electric vehicles over the next five years. Toronto is already in the game, with 2019’s massive addition of electric buses to its transit fleet

Canada’s first pre-commercial 5G testbed, ENQCOR, opened for business, inviting inventors of the future to test the high-speed network. Think autonomous vehicle technology, which relies on the fast speeds that 5G provides. 

Love it or hate it, smash it or don’t — Tesla’s Cybertruck hit the scene to mixed reviews. Tesla’s had a pretty newsworthy year, with Smart Summon collisions, and a driver asleep at the wheel.

Out of this world

While we typically focus on transportation as it relates to roadways, it is worth mentioning a few other notable 2019 transportation developments: hyperloops are actually a thing, and commercial space flight is one light-year closer with SpaceX’s successful mission to the International Space Station, while FedEx delivery robots got the boot by New York City.

It’s been a crazy year for transportation, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2020! 

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