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Vancouver studying impact of driverless cars

The federal government is giving the City of Vancouver close to $400,000 over 3 years to research the impacts of driverless cars in that city. (Marcella Bernardo, NEWS 1130 Photo)

The City of Vancouver has created a pilot project -- funded by the feds -- to look into the safety of driverless cars

The federal government is giving the City of Vancouver close to $400,000 to study the impacts of driverless cars

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The eventual arrival of driverless cars in Vancouver has prompted the creation of a pilot project to make sure they’re safe.

Currently, they’re not allowed anywhere in Canada.

Speaking at the City of Vancouver’s Manitoba Yard, Councillor Andrea Reimer says it makes sense to be ready long before driverless cars are here.

“You’re not going to stop technology if people want it, so the question for government’s –there was a period of time where governments tried to stop technologies or ignore them, um, they happen and I think some of the impacts of that weren’t well-mitigated as a result of that. So, I think we have to accept that if people want driverless cars, they’re going to be here. The question is how fast and how ready are we when they show up?”

Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray was also on hand to promise 386-thousand dollars for research over four years as part of a nearly three million dollar study already being done by Transport Canada.

“Do some research and trials. Organizations like the City of Vancouver that want to do the very best for their citizens.”

When asked how worried she is about recent reports of deadly crashes involving driverless cars, Murray says that’s part of this research.

“Well, I would say that this is a process and of course, any time that there is an accident or someone is injured or killed, we feel that deeply and it’s very concerning.”

In March, a driverless Uber SUV struck and killed an Arizona woman as she was walking across a street.

Investigators later determined the system used to automatically apply brakes in potentially dangerous situations had been disabled.