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IN TRANSIT: THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A DRIVERLESS CAR – The future of autonomous vehicles is now writes Carter Hammett 15TH ANNUAL AUTOMOTIVE AWARDS EVENING RECAP – Kristina Comuzzi recounts a gala evening celebrating the industry’s future ATLANTIC REGION MOTOR SPORTS – Dave Hull introduces events for the upcoming season ATLANTIC CANADIANS SHINE AT FLORIDA SPEEDWEEKS – Some of us can’t wait until summer to get our race on. NEWS OF THE WEIRD – The Geneva Car Show introduces a three-in-one concept car, because you need one. No. Really. You do. THE ATLANTIC ROAD REPORT – Spring weight restrictions are back CANADA/US SIGN FORMAL BORDER AGREEMENT – Deal will improve cross-border trucking, officials say. CAA WORST ATLANTIC ROADS CAMPAIGN - Did you know that a bad road can cost the average motorist up to $3000? That’s why it’s important to have your say in this new public awareness project. REMEMBERING RICHARD MCNULTY – Terry Waterfield bids farewell to an Atlantic Canadian automotive legend. ONE STEP CLOSER – Kenneth E. Seaton waxes profane on the benefits that self-driving vehicles will have for vulnerable populations ATLANTIC MOTORSPORT PARK GETS UPGRADE FOR NEW SEASON – Maintaining and upgrading a raceway is hard work – that’s why volunteers deserve extra credit. AUTOMATONOPHOBIA – It can be defined roughly, as a “fear of robots,” writes Gavin Brown. Or… it can represent other things as well. WOMEN DRIVING AUTO INDUSTRY’S TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES – The fairer sex has engineers in its ranks that are leading the way in shaping the way we live says GM’s CEO.
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Letter from the Editor
PRIVACY BY DESIGN
. Although Maritimers are a particularly resilient bunch, this winter has been exceptionally challenging for many. Across Atlantic Canada, it seems as if locals are still digging out from one of the roughest winters in memory. Indeed, Environment Canada reported the coldest February ever on record. But that’s not all. Listen: As of this writing, in sturdy St. John NB, over 33,000 truckloads of snow have carried away compared to the average 2,700 each winter. That translates into about 432 cm, which finally broke a record high of 427 cm set way back in 1963. Needless to say, the costs of this winter have been astronomical. Although the final tallies have yet to come in, costs for overtime, fuel and reinforcements easily will run into the millions. With all the advances in technology both rapid and recent, you would think someone might design something to help manage snow more efficiently. One of them is trying, but Old Man
Y THE TIME YOU READ THIS, THE SNOW MIGHT HAVE STARTED MELTING.
Winter is still winning that battle. It’s a mark of the current state of things that driverless cars still have a long way to go during winter. Indeed, it appears that the subject of this issue’s cover story still has a way to go in that department. Despite that challenge, self-driving vehicles are here to stay. With astounding leaps being made in mapping, GPS, blockage detection and other technologies, autonomous vehicles are projected to be on the road in the not-too-distant future and common place by at least 2025. The astounding advancements that technology has accomplished is truly a marvel. But with those advances emerge parallel ethical concerns that raise lots of questions, including the fact your car may be spying on you.
At least that’s the concern expressed by the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) in a March report that cautioned your car’s technology may also be tracking your behaviour. FIPA’s calling for immediate action on the data cars are sharing with companies. The group warns that cars connected to the Internet, equipped with parking, navigation and other features can monitor everything from how long your car idles or the exact location of your vehicle at any given time. This information has the currently unregulated potential to be shared with everyone from your car’s manufacturer to an insurance company. While services like OnStar are well known for their ability to electronically detect collisions and other problems, drivers might not be aware that Hertz has installed cameras in their rental cars although these instruments are supposedly inactive. GM also installs mics in some of their cars for what purpose? This trend has been on an upward swing for at least two decades. Beginning in 1996, on-board diagnostics systems became standard after being introduced to monitor emissions, part of the Clean Air Act. But as computer systems became more sophisticated, monitoring technologies developed enough to accumulate and send data of all kinds to third parties. As a result, someone is always watching you as data leaves your car. Clearly, policies are needed. More specifically, privacy laws exist, but they aren’t being enforced in vehicles, says FIPA, which is asking for a comprehensive policy to sort this potential mess out as soon as possible. It’s clear that consumers need to be both informed and protected as information is gathered and automakers appear to be failing to meet their obligations in this regard. This can be and should be corrected immediately, and doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take years to implement either. Cars are a part of everyday life. Ask yourself: do you really want data collection to be part of that too?
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IN TRANSIT: THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A DRIVERLESS CAR
By Carter Hammett
NCE THOUGHT OF AS MERE SCIENCE FICTION, THE CONCEPT OF DRIVERLESS CARS HAS FINALLY ARRIVED. THE IMPACT WILL BE FAR-REACHING ACROSS MULTIPLE SOCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL SECTORS, BUT ONE SIGNIFICANT QUESTION REMAINS: ARE WE READY FOR IT?
When Daimler’s Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche launched his Geneva auto show press conference in February of this year, he semi-seriously asked reporters to limit inquiries about Apple to half the time allotted for questions. That’s because tech giants Google and Apple have been on many people’s minds for the past several months, after unconfirmed reports that both companies have self-driving cars in the works. While it’s no secret that Google’s been experimenting with autonomous cars for several years now—including a prototype revealed in May 2014-- some automakers have expressed concern over Apple’s supposed experimental “iCar” as nervous rumblings have dubbed it…”something that will supposedly give Tesla a run for its money,” unconfirmed rumours have suggested. The reports are both good and bad news for automakers. Some have branded the Silicon Valley two-fer as interlopers, while others have suggested that the potential impact could have great benefits for the automotive industry in the long run. If you think that the status of driverless cars is the stuff of science fiction, think again. And for those of you that thought
the future of autonomous vehicles would never be seen in your life time, here’s the wake-up call.
THE FUTURE IS NOW.
For the uninitiated, self-driving (also called both “driverless” and “autonomous” (AV)) vehicles have the capacity to drive themselves minus human input. This is accomplished through tools like GPS coordinates, mapping, sensors and artificial intelligence. A car’s control systems have the ability to receive and interpret sensory data to determine navigation pathways while avoiding obstructions. At this point, the driver himself almost becomes an accessory as he simply isn’t needed to manually operate the vehicle. When you stop to think about it, some autonomous features have been a part of cars and driving for years: cruise control and lane assist, among them. It’s projected that, at some point—somewhere between 2020 and 2015 by most estimates--a fully autonomous vehicle will be available that will be able to be utilized without driver assistance. But there’s still a few bugs to work out. For example, February 2015 has already gone down as the coldest winter on record and a round of giggles has circulated the Internet after our frostbitten flurries trounced Google’s supposedly seamless technology. While that might be a mild exaggeration, Google has quietly conceded that the concept of snow has proven to be a challenge for its autonomous vehicle. As it turns out, computer vision systems are as-yet unable to detect lane boundaries when covered with snow. The good news is that the model-in-progress recognizes limited visibility and in response, simply won’t drive. Obstacle technology has a long way to go; most likely, decades, suggest pundits, despite the fact that some see
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driverless vehicles on the road as early as 2020. Countries around the world are in the testing stages, but the UK has expressed huge ambitions to be the world leader in the development of driverless cars. Like other countries, however, Britain is also developing guidelines to be ready by summer that demonstrate scenarios. The country estimates that roll out for fully driverless vehicles could be good to go by 2030. Closer to home, however, Florida, Nevada and California have already passed laws allowing AV testing while others are reviewing data to administer testing on public roads. Vehicles are also currently being tested in Europe and Asia. Indeed, the global market for autonomous vehicles could reach upwards of $40 billion, accounting for almost 25 per cent of world-wide sales by 2035, states a study by Boston Consulting Group. Furthermore, consumers appear open to the idea a survey stated that up to 44 per cent of motorists would be willing to purchase AVs within the next 10 years. The impact that these vehicles can potentially have across multiple industrial sectors is far-reaching with both positive and not-so-positive implications.
autonomous vehicle on the road by 2020. The big guns in this sector, Apple and Google (in case you didn’t know) have serious money at their disposal. While Apple remains silent about their plans, Google envisions a society populated by autonomous vehicles performing, possibly replacing, taxis. Consumers will be picked up and dropped off and will be the passive recipients of a service. Auto makers, however, appear to be projecting private ownership as the way to go, with purchasers retaining at least some control over their cars. Autonomous features like lane centering will be introduced in prime vehicles over a period of time before the cars become fully autonomous.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM AV HISTORY
1925 – First autonomous vehicle produced by radio equipment firm Houdina, which is operated remotely by a transmission antennae controlled by a car driven behind the Linrrican Wonder, as it was thencalled. n 1953 – RCA Labs produce a mini car guided by wires positioned on the lab floor. A full-size version arrives in 1958 and RCA demos its potential by moving it along a highway in Nebraska. Car demonstrated again in 1960 with plans for mass-marketing by the mid-1970s. n 1980s – Germany’s Ernst Dickmanns equips a Mercedes-Benz van with sensors and cameras. Sensory input is controlled via computer commands. Once the van successfully reached speeds of 39 mph, the European motive industry introduces another autonomous vehicle project called Prometheus. n 1991 – US congress passes legislation requesting Dept of Transporation create a fully automatic road system. Project finally demonstrated in 1997 in which 20 vehicles designed for automated and mixed traffic premiere. Program eventually cancelled due to funding shortages. n 1994 – Ernst Dickmanns drives an automatic Mercedes-Benz from Bavaria to Copenhagen, reaching speeds of 109 mph. n 2001 – US Army tests unmanned ground vehicles on off-road terrain. A driverless public transit system in the Netherlands is introduced around this time. n 2010 – Audi powers a driverless vehicle to the summit of Pike’s Peak at high speed.
One interesting component of the report suggests that households could save up to $2,700.00 annually, achieved through car sharing. “If you could get a car very immediately to your door, do you really need to own a car?” asked the Conference Board report’s lead author Vijay Gill. This vision seems to echo Google’s, which predicts an increase in personalized transit, which in turn would reduce demand for parking and make that space available for alternate uses. Naturally, driving would be cheaper and vehicles would suddenly become accessible to people who don’t drive. Another area that could be strongly affected is the taxi industry. With the rise of car sharing services like Zipcar and Autoshare in urban centers during the last decade, many people simply can’t afford to drive during these cash-strapped times and these types of services provide a smart and readily available source to turn towards. With services like Daimler-owned Cars2Go, it’s fathomable to realize that one day self- driving taxis might be available simply by locating one on your smart phone. With all infrastructure needs in place, the only thing missing literally, are the vehicles themselves.
THE NEXT DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY
In January of this year, Ottawa-based think tank The Conference Board of Canada stated in a report that “we see the widespread adoption of AVs (automated vehicles) as being a matter of “when,” not “if.” The report, entitled Automated Vehicles: The Coming of the Next Disruptive Technology, claims that AVs have the potential of cutting costs, saving lives and reducing travel times. The annual economic benefits could tally to as much as $65 billion--$3,000.00 per household—while traffic deaths could drop to as little as 400 from the current 2000. All of which sounds fine. But there’s still a multiple number of issues to sift through, including government regulations keeping in step with the emergence of this technology; costs and consumer acceptance, among them. It’s generally accepted that by 2020 most of the major players in the auto making field plan to have at least vehicles with self-driving components available, with completely driverless cars available five years following that. Not to be outdone, tech gurus entering the auto market are making ambitious plans with Google hoping to have a fully
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JOBS JOBS JOBS
With all change there are consequences, both positive and negative. The auto insurance industry for instance, could potentially take a big hit, while jobs in the manufacturing sector may suddenly and simultaneously be both taken away and created overnight. Gill suggests some of these changes could be barriers to the adoption of selfdriving vehicles.
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The potential job losses may cause some people to lobby for a slower transition away from human drivers. He pointed out that some public transit vehicles are already capable of driving themselves, but still have drivers for this reason. Other hurdles include a lack of insurance rules about who is responsible in the case of a collision involving a self-driving vehicle and the cost of the technology, which needs to drop before it is widely adopted. The Canadian insurance industry is closely monitoring developments, but insurers are faced with a multitude of questions and considerations: what if the faulty technology causes an accident? What about collisions? Already counterparts in the U.S. have cautioned that AVs will seriously impact their business by limiting crashes, and altering the way premiums are priced. As if that weren’t enough, the role of government remains unclear. With driving employment, manufacturing, distribution and other sectors, suddenly vulnerable, perhaps the time is ripe for an actual bona fide national transportation strategy? At present, every operating vehicle has to meet the federal government’s safety standards regarding design. While manufacturers can decide how the standard will be met, Transport Canada determines if the technology implemented actually meets the target. Urban planning, car rentals, job losses and creation are other areas where the government has an opportunity to step up to the plate. Meanwhile, the report encourages governments at all levels to consider the potential effects of automated vehicles on infrastructure projects, including transit, which are planned decades in advance. “If we’re planning that for 30 years now and making more-or-less billions of investments to do it,” Gill said, “I think this work is worth at least a footnote and probably quite a bit more than that.”
A P P O I N T M E N T
UAP Traction announce that David Jolin has been appointed Branch Manager - Fredericton location. This appointment is effective immediately. David joined UAP in 2011 and has been acting as Assistant Manager for the past 2 years. His knowledge and experience of the HD business will be a great asset to the staff of the Fredericton location. David can be contacted at 506 458 8672
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QVC GEMSTONE EXPERT POSTS ON AXALTA’S COLOUR BLOCK BLOG
EYTON KELLEY DISCUSSES HOW AXALTA’S AUTOMOTIVE COLOUR OF THE YEAR, RADIANT RED, IS ALSO VIBRANT IN THE WORLD OF GEMS
Glen Mills, PA, March 9, 2015 – Some hot cars, roses, strawberries, firetrucks and rubies all have something in common: they are Radiant Red, which also happens to be Axalta Coating Systems’ Automotive Colour of the Year 2015. Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings, is pleased to feature Peyton Kelley, QVC Senior Manager of Product Development, Jewelry, on its colour blog called, Color Block. Kelley’s post discusses how the colour red is important to not only the automotive industry, but also to the jewelry business. Kelley is an experienced gemologist with a graduate gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America. He has since accrued more than 30 years of experience exploring nearly every facet of the jewelry industry from buying, manufacturing, and sourcing to marketing, design, and development. Kelley has been with QVC for nearly 17 years and also appears as a QVC onair guest for Affinity(R) Diamond Jewelry, gemstones, and artisan crafted jewelry. “As a large jewelry retailer, QVC’s buyers travel the globe in search of fine gemstones, each with a remarkable radiance and unique story,” said Kelley. “Red and shades of red continue to be important in all aspects of the jewelry business including designer, gold, sterling and gemstones while remaining a popular choice among today’s consumers.” “We are thrilled to have Peyton Kelley as a guest blogger. His gemstone industry knowledge is impressive,” said Axalta Colour Marketing Manager Nancy Lockhart. “We appreciate the connection that our Radiant Red has with the jewelry industry. We believe visitors will find it interesting to read about the impact of red in a variety of arenas.” To read Peyton’s post titled, Demand for Radiant Red Gemstones Heats Up in 2015, visit axalta.us/color.
ATA of Atlantic Canada
15TH ANNUAL AUTOMOTIVE AWARDS EVENING RECAP
A NIGHT OF HONOURING THE EMPLOYEE
By Kristina Comuzzi, Research and Communications Coordinator, Automotive Sector Council of Nova Scotia
HE 15TH ANNUAL AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY AWARDS EVENING WAS CELEBRATED ON FEBRUARY 19, 2015 WITH OVER 70 INDUSTRY PARTNERS AND AUTOMOTIVE EMPLOYERS.
Mentors, employees and stakeholders came together to invest in the future of the industry. The event once again was held at the Casino Nova Scotia, only this year, the event was moved into a larger space due to event popularity. The room was beautiful and although celebration was threatened by yet another winter storm, that didn’t stop guests from coming out to honour the employee. This year’s categories for honouring the employee were: Above and Beyond, Longevity, Education
and the Mentorship Award. As guests began to arrive they were met with hugs, and familiarity from Nikki Barnett, Program Coordinator, who greeted guests, colleagues and friends. Before the delicious meal guests called greetings to each other and the old and new mingled making lasting connections. Each table was strategically placed with industry members to help create or strengthen bonds. The laughter and chatter could be heard down the hall and the feeling of anticipation was felt by all. The evening started off with a formal greeting by Shannon Trites, the Executive Director of the Automotive Sector Council, who thanked everyone for coming out to the awards evening despite the evenings stormy weather. This year’s theme was once again Honouring the Employee, a time to thank those employees who have gone above and beyond their daily roles. The sponsors of this year’s awards were given special thanks for helping bring the industry members together once again. This year’s sponsors are displayed
in the photo below. The Automotive Sector Council is moving towards achieving the goal of building a stronger economy in Nova Scotia and has made major accomplishments this year towards that goal. Shannon Trites took the time to thank those on the Board of Directors and other partners who have helped to share and advance ASC initiatives. After thanking those who contributed so much to making the event happen, Kim White, Director of Workplace Initiatives at the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, is welcomed to the stage to bring greetings from the province. Following Ms. White’s greeting, the event begins with informative speeches from three industry business leaders. First to the stage was the events keynote speaker, Beth McNeil, owner of McNeil’s Shell. Beth discussed some of the tools she utilized as a business owner to help her business reach its success. Some resources Beth mentioned included Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills incen-
(L TO R) NIKKI BARNETT, PROGRAM COORDINATOR, JUDY DICKSON, EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER AND WINNER OF THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, KRISTINA COMUZZI, PUBLIC RELATIONS STUDENT INTERN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SHANNON TRITES AND WHITNEY KERR, TESTDRIVE PROJECT MANAGER
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