Automated Vehicles and Connected Vehicles

Vehicle technology is evolving at a rapid pace and substantial progress has been made to improve vehicle safety. Even more gains can be made by using connected and automated driving technologies to further enhance vehicle safety.

Connected vehicle and automated vehicle technologies have the potential for additional societal benefits such as reduced GHG emissions and improved public productivity. Federal government engagement and Transport Canada leadership continues to be needed to facilitate the effective deployment and public acceptance of these technologies including ongoing dialogue with automakers, flexible approaches and avoiding barriers to vehicle testing and deployment. Activities need to be coordinated nationally across Canadian jurisdictions, and collaborative work with the United States on aligned requirements and approaches is essential in avoiding a patchwork approach. This will provide the needed certainty in the regulatory landscape to allow vehicle manufacturers to focus on developing and deploying technologies faster to the shared North American market in an effective manner, with more choice, and lower cost to the consumer.

CVMA members are investing significant financial resources into engineering and software Research and Development to support connected and automated driving systems. Technologies are being explored to enable a future where vehicles can “talk” to each other and their surroundings and where vehicles can take-over certain driving tasks. Vehicles would be continuously aware of each other and may be able to warn drivers of risks and provide assistance to take action to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Numerous research projects and partnerships are underway to demonstrate and further develop real-world applications of these technologies, eventually evolving into broad application in fully autonomous vehicles.

Data privacy and cybersecurity are integral to the deployment of connected and automated vehicle technologies and a priority to both industry and the consumer. Automakers are taking proactive actions to identify and address potential threat scenarios and address them quickly. Security features and protection of customer privacy are implemented in every stage of vehicle design and manufacturing. CVMA members also partner with public and private research groups and participate in forums on emerging issues as part of the ongoing efforts to safeguard data, electronic systems and networks.

To augment this work, the CVMA recommends a privacy policy framework where there is federal and jurisdictional alignment that allows for privacy protection, product innovation and delivery in an integrated North American industry, including innovation to help improve safety, vehicle security and driver services.

We recommend the following principles guide government privacy policy development:

  1. Jurisdictional Compatibility

    Automotive production, technology and sales in North America is highly integrated – the same products are designed, produced and sold across the continent.  Unique regulation may lead to the disabling of important technologies or the curtailing of service offerings important to consumers – including safety.  

    Provincial and national privacy frameworks need to be aligned and structured in a way that does not stifle responsible innovation and does not hinder the roll out of technologies required by government and demanded by consumers including important safety technologies that save lives.

  2. Principles-based & Technology Neutral

    Technologies are rapidly evolving, and privacy developments are ongoing.  A principles-based approach that avoids technology-specific provisions is recommended to allow industry to innovate responsibly. 

  3. Cross-Border Data Transfers

    Data flows support safe vehicle operation providing safety, environmental, and societal benefits.

    Suppliers and digital services data flows are needed to support the functioning and operation of vehicle systems including the emergence of connected vehicle and autonomous vehicle systems.

  4. Flexibility and Proportionality

    Privacy frameworks require the flexibility to recognize the continued need for regulatory harmonization, particularly Canada and U.S. product/service harmonization.

    Enforcement provisions need to be proportional and fair with consideration to entities that have acted reasonably and responsibly to be compliant.