Transportation Technology Conference
In 1955, Louis St. Laurent was Prime Minister, the population of Canada was about 15 million and the removal of wartime restrictions on manufacturing and the end of rationing of tires and gasoline had led to a huge boom in the passenger car market.
The transportation industry has changed so dramatically in the ensuing 60 years, that it is hardly recognizable. Good quality highways span the country, travel times have plummeted, safety dramatically increased, and fuel efficiency has improved more than 50% - despite the production of significantly larger vehicles. But all this pales in comparison to what’s coming down the road now.
Technology has played a central role in completely reforming a wide range of industries in the last few decades. The next market to be disrupted is likely to be transportation. A large number of significant and transformative technologies are starting to come on to the market that have the potential to fundamentally alter how people get around their cities, and how governments tackle transportation policies.
New technologies like GPS, ubiquitous internet, real-time data collection, and variable road pricing are already a reality, while networked vehicles, driverless cars, and no-doubt more that hasn’t even been considered yet, are just around the corner.
Who knows what transportation will look like in another 30 years, never mind 60?
These new technologies are providing fantastic opportunities to improve the efficiency, environmental friendliness, and quality of Canada’s transportation systems, but in order to adapt to this changing environment it is essential that policy makers understand the technological opportunities, the coming impacts on public policy and regulations, and are willing to work with the coming tide, not try to hold it back.
In order to facilitate discussion on how these technologies may affect public policy, the Manning Centre is pleased to host this Transportation Technology Conference. We hope to bring attention to all the latest technology that can be implemented by cities, the potential future impacts of this technology on Canada’s cities, and to kick-start a discussion on the policy changes and market/pricing mechanisms these new technologies are enabling.