GOOGLE have announced Canada’s first road worthy autonomous vehicles will be beta tested in Richmond, BC this fall. The technology giant claims that after discussions with both national and provincial governments, that BC’s 4th largest city is the “ideal location” to test the new self-driving cars.
“We’ve identified Richmond as not only the most suitable place to test our cars, but the most in desperate need of them,” Google CEO Larry Flynt said at the unveiling. “From now on the people of this great city can use their phones in peace, without having to be bothered with watching pesky pedestrians or using turn signals.”
Reception from locals has been largely positive. While some are understandably distrusting of driverless vehicles, the majority are even less trusting of local drivers.
Car accidents in Metro Vancouver have risen steadily in recent years particularly in Richmond where the situation has reached “critical levels”, according to a recent Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) report: “It’s a very worrying trend. Statistically 3 out of 10 Richmond residents will be hit by a white Mercedes SUV at some point in their lifetime.”
The most astonishing statistic to surface from the report, shows that 76% of all vehicle collisions in Greater Vancouver, involve a Richmond resident. While the researchers admit to having no strictly scientific method for calculating this percentage, they claim to have felt confident in just guessing. “Like most people in Vancouver we just assume they’re from Richmond,” one said. “Since when does it matter if it’s true or not?”
The CAA claims their researchers are baffled as to why the problem seems to be largely centered around Richmond and the surrounding areas, prompting the BC government to take measures to improve the standard of Canadian drivers. Last week British Columbia reached an agreement with the International Lucky Life Driving School, who agreed to transfer over 1,000 of the finest driving instructors China has to offer, to help train Canadian instructors.
BC Premier Christy Clark, feels the new instructors will leave a lasting impression on driving in the city. “From now on, something tells me people are going to remember driving through the City of Richmond,” she said.
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