Self-driving technology could be a boon to global economies, according to a report from GPS advising company Global Positioning Specialists, stating that Canada alone could stand to save over $26 billion USD (over $34 billion CAD) through the reduction of traffic accidents.
The report lists the top 20 countries “where driverless tech could save billions,” with Canada ranking seventh and carrying an annual GDP loss of over $29 billion USD ($38 billion CAD). Once driverless cars become commonplace, that number is reduced to $2.9 billion USD ($3.8 billion CAD).
The company arrived at its numbers by combining the percentage of GDP lost to traffic accidents with the total GDP of each country alongside the percentage that driverless tech could reduce traffic accidents to calculate both the total GDP lost to traffic accidents each year and the amount of GDP that driverless technology could save.
The company bases the percentage that driverless tech could reduce accidents on a 2015 report from gloabal consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, which predicts vehicle crashes will fall by 90 percent around the year 2050, due to the “self-driving revolution”
Transport Canada, on the other hand, has yet to be convinced of the safety of self-driving cars, at least in the short term. The regulator recently announced it would evaluate the safety of driverless cars as a new pilot program hits Ontario roads, with documents indicating its chief concern is that drivers will put too much faith in their vehicle’s autopilot features.